The Los Angeles County Museum of Art has announced a gift from Wallis Annenberg and the Annenberg Foundation that will be used to acquire a collection of photographic prints. According to the Los Angeles Daily News, the gift exceeds $10 million.
The Marjorie and Leonard Vernon collection, which contains more than thirty-five hundred prints, includes masterworks from celebrated photographers of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, such as Ansel Adams, Julia Margaret Cameron, Edward Steichen, and Edward Weston. The late Marjorie and Leonard Vernon of Los Angeles began to amass the collection in 1976, selecting works that highlighted the richness of West Coast photography. Key works include Adams' "Moonrise, Hernandez," Weston's "Nude," and Imogen Cunningham's "Magnolia Blossom."
In addition to acquiring the Vernon collection, the museum will use the gift to establish a new study room, scheduled to open in 2011, that will provide access to LACMA's entire photography collection.
"This staggering acquisition will enable LACMA to present multiple narratives of nineteenth- and twentieth-century photography to its actual and virtual visitors and to enhance the appreciation of photography," said Charlotte Cotton, head of the newly named Wallis Annenberg Photography Department. "Wallis Annenberg, who shares the same vision, has been incredibly thoughtful about what it takes to create a world-class, accessible photography department at LACMA."
Photo: Imogen Cunningham, "Magnolia Blossom," � 2008 The Imogen Cunningham Trust