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TX Couple donates huge art collection to the Musee d'Orsay

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NY Times reports on the gift of 600 works from the late 19th century and early 20th century to the Parisian museum. In a highly unusual concession, the gift will displayed in a single area, and not dispersed throughout the facility

 

 

wo art collectors from Texas, Marlene and Spencer Hays, have pledged the Musée d’Orsay here the largest foreign collection of art to be donated to France since World War II — more than 600 masterworks from the late 19th and early 20th centuries, including works by Pierre Bonnard, Edouard Vuillard, Amedeo Modigliani and Henri Matisse.

 

The couple, both 80 years old, signed an agreement with the French state on Saturday at the Élysée Palace in a ceremony in which President François Hollande named them both commanders of the Legion of Honor.(snip)

The Hays’s collection is particularly strong in post-Impressionist works by the Nabis, including Bonnard, Vuillard, Maurice Denis, Odilon Redon, Aristide Maillol and André Derain. It also includes works by Edgar Degas and Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot.

 

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/25/arts/design/texas-couple-pledges-art-collection-to-the-musee-dorsay.html

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I wondered that, too. I would expect Crystal Bridges was interested. They have a pretty good budget, but this may have been the prestige of the Orsay and returning a magnificent collection to France.

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I vaguely remember that the couple didn't really consider any American museums, primarily because legally, museums in France cannot sell any artwork gifted to them while American museums can. They really wanted to keep the collection together.

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This is the article I had read

 

 

https://www.google.ca/amp/s/amp.france24.com/en/20161022-france-american-couple-donates-art-worth-350-million-musee-orsay-paris

A French law prohibiting museums from selling off pieces donated to their collections might also explain the couples decision to donate to a museum in France instead of one closer to home.

 

Theres a rule that most certainly played a role, which is that is impossible to break up a collection, unlike American museums, which can relinquish works and sell them, Cahn said.

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