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Grand Rapids Art Museum presents 'A Decade at the Center: Recent Gifts and Acquisitions'

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Exhibition features 100+ works of art and design newly acquired for GRAM's collection

Grand Rapids Art Museum

For more information about A Decade at the Center visit

/Grand Rapids Art Museum

The Grand Rapids Art Museum (GRAM) is pleased to announce its upcoming exhibition opening January 26, A Decade at the Center: Recent Gifts and Acquisitions. The exhibition  closes out a yearlong celebration of GRAM's tenth anniversary at its 101 Monroe Center location and features  works of art and design acquired through gift and purchase  from the last five years.  A Decade at the Center  will be on view at the Museum through April 28, 2019.  
The exhibition features over 100 new additions to the Museum's collection, representing all areas in which GRAM collects, from 19th-century  paintings to contemporary art, mid-century modern furniture to vintage photography, and rare Renaissance engravings to historical design objects.  More than half of the works in the exhibition are on public view for the first time.  
"The Grand Rapids Art Museum’s collection of more than 6,000 works is the heart of the Museum, and, just like the city it serves, has grown and transformed over the course of its more than 100-year history," commented GRAM Director and CEO Dana Friis-Hansen. "I invite you to explore the many new works  on view for the first time in  A Decade at the Center,  and  discover our collection year-round as it rotates on all three floors of the Museum." 
The exhibition comprises recent Museum purchases, as well as gifts and promised gifts from numerous generous individuals and institutions. In some cases, these new acquisitions expand the Museum’s holding of works by particular artists, such as Mathias J. Alten, Andy Warhol, Lorna Simpson, Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian, and Richard Diebenkorn. Important artists new to the collection have also been acquired, including Adrian Esparza, Dawoud Bey, Carrie Mae Weems, and Jane Freilicher.
On view for the first time are several pieces from a major new gift of over 100 design objects from one of the premier American collectors. This generous gift will greatly expand the museum’s design holdings and better tell the story of West Michigan’s rich history as a leading center of design and manufacturing. 

“GRAM’s commitment to exhibiting and collecting design and craft is illustrated by the inclusion of important works of furniture, ceramics, glass, and industrial design in A Decade at the Center,” commented GRAM Chief Curator Ron Platt. “The modern and contemporary design objects in the exhibition—ranging from furniture and lamps to tableware and electronics—marry function and beauty and show the power design has to enhance our daily lives.” 

The oldest works in the exhibition are two engravings by Martin Schongauer from the 15th century, a promised gift of Cate and Sid Jansma Jr., founders of GRAM’s extraordinary Jansma Print Collection. Notable new contemporary works will be on view as well, including a print by American artist Kara Walker in her recognizable silhouette-style, a promised gift from Martin and Enid Packard, important long-time supporters of GRAM.

A Decade at the Center celebrates the crucial role of gifts in the Museum's ongoing effort to build one of the most notable collections in the American Midwest. Since GRAM's inception in 1910, the generosity of its patrons has been crucial to building the permanent collection. 
Complementing the exhibition opening,  GRAM members and the public can enjoy a variety of related events and programming, including the Member Exhibition Opening, Curator and Artist talks, Drop-in Tours, art-making workshops, and more. Visit for the full list of events.  

Related Programs and Events
Member Exhibition Opening
A Decade at the Center: Recent Gifts and Acquisitions 
Friday, January 25, 2019, 7 - 9 pm 
Join GRAM for an exclusive member opening of  A Decade at the Center: Recent Gifts and Acquisitions. Members enjoy complimentary  hors d’oeuvres, a cash bar, and live entertainment. 
Exhibition Talk: Growing a Museum Collection
Saturday, January 26, 2019,  2 - 3 pm 
Join us for a presentation by Director and CEO, Dana Friis-Hansen, and Chief Curator, Ron Platt, as they discuss the genesis and organization of GRAM’s latest exhibition, A Decade at the Center. Over the past five years, the Grand Rapids Art Museum has added 400 objects to the permanent collection, 60 of which are highlighted in the exhibition alongside promised gifts from donors. 

About the Grand Rapids Art Museum
Connecting people through art, creativity, and design. Established in the heart of downtown Grand Rapids, the Art Museum is internationally known for its distinguished design and LEED® Gold certified status. Established in 1910 as the Grand Rapids Art Association, GRAM has grown to include more than 5,000 works of art, including American and European 19th and 20th-century painting and sculpture and more than 3,000 works on paper. Embracing the city’s legacy as a leading center of design and manufacturing, GRAM has a growing collection in the area of design and modern craft.

For GRAM's hours and admission fees, visit or call 616.831.1000.

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