The Denver Art Museum has announced a donation of twenty-two Impressionist paintings from Hamilton Oil Corporation founder Frederic C. Hamilton, a longtime trustee and chairman emeritus of the museum.
The largest gift ever to the museum comprises works by Eugène Boudin, Paul Cézanne, Edouard Manet, Claude Monet, Berthe Morisot, Camille Pissarro, Auguste Renoir, Alfred Sisley, and Vincent van Gogh, as well as works by their American contemporaries William Merritt Chase and Childe Hassam. Currently on view at the museum, the collection — of which DAM will take possession officially upon Hamilton's death — could be worth as much as $100 million, the Denver Post reports. "This is a game-changing gift," DAM director Christoph Heinrich told the Post. "We will have the biggest collection in the West of Impressionist art."
Hamilton, who served as DAM's board chair from 1994 to 2013, has supported numerous endeavors at the museum, including the 2012 exhibition Becoming Van Gogh and a capital campaign to fund construction of the $110 million, 146,000-square-foot Hamilton Building.
"Collecting these paintings has been a joy for the past four decades, and I am happy to know that future generations of visitors to the Denver Art Museum will be able to enjoy them as much as I have," said Hamilton. "It is my hope that this gift will make the museum's collection an even greater resource to everyone who lives in or visits our great city."