The Parrish Art Museum in Water Mill, New York, has announced a gift of art, archival material, and other resources from the James and Charlotte Brooks Foundation and the establishment of a fund to support new programming.
The gift from the foundation, which was established by Abstract Expressionist painters James Brooks (1906-1992) and Charlotte Park (1918-2010), will result in the transfer of all assets and responsibility for the stewardship of Brooks' and Park's legacy to the Parrish, as well as the dissolution of the foundation. Drawing on the foundation's assets, which were valued at more than $6.5 million at the end of 2015, the museum will establish the James and Charlotte Brooks Fund, an endowment that will support research on, the care of, and the exhibition of works by the two artists and help underwrite other projects at the Parrish.
According to the terms of the gift, the museum will add eighty-nine paintings, drawings, and prints by Brooks and Park to its permanent collection, resulting in the largest, most historically comprehensive holding of their art anywhere and bolstering the museum's collection of American Abstract Expressionist works. The Brooks Foundation, which recently donated a hundred and seventy works by the two artists to twenty other American museums, has encouraged the Parrish to sell some of the not-intended-for-accessioning works by the artists it had gifted to the museum, with proceeds from the sales to be directed to the James and Charlotte Brooks Fund.
"This generous gift will build upon the Parrish's renowned collection of late nineteenth- to twenty-first-century American painting and allow the museum to provide richly expanded context for its existing strengths," said Parrish Museum director Terrie Sultan. "Now, along with our major holdings of works by William Merritt Chase and Fairfield Porter, we have the opportunity to engage in thorough scholarship and interpretation of the work of these pivotal artists, in order to both further the understanding and appreciation of Brooks' and Park's careers, and to also engage in lively dialogue about the creative legacy of artists who have lived and worked on the East End [of Long Island]."