South Dakota Art Museum Receives Valuable Art Donations
October 11, 2011
The South Dakota Art Museum has received an extensive, growing donation of
valuable fine art prints that offer visitors an encyclopedic collection of
printmaking from the 1960s, 1970s and early 1980s. The collection includes
impressive examples of pop, op, abstract, color field and photo-realist art.
The donation comes from Neil C. Cockerline, preservation services director and
senior conservator with the Midwest Art Conservation Center in Minneapolis,
Minn., in memory of his late mother Florence L. Cockerline. From initial
appraisals, the value of the collection in today’s art market ranges between
$500,000 and $1 million.
The collection currently contains more than 400 prints and will continue to grow
with the South Dakota Art Museum as its permanent home. The Cockerline
Collection features more than 100 notable artists including Jim Dine, Robert
Rauschenberg, Robert Motherwell, Andy Warhol, Henri Matisse and Robert Indiana.
The works are all original prints, that means the artist was present or had
strict control of the piece during the printmaking process. After each edition
is completed, the plate or screen used to make the print is destroyed, making
all the pieces in the collection rare.
“I chose to donate this collection to the South Dakota Art Museum because I knew
the staff and university are very supportive of the museum, and they have a
reputation of professionalism and a commitment to preservation,” said Cockerline,
during a recent visit to catalog pieces of his donation. “The collection will
also attract people to the museum. There isn’t a collection like this in the
state or nearby.”
The first exhibit of prints is scheduled to be displayed in early 2013.
Cockerline will select each piece to be included in the first exhibition. The
South Dakota Art Museum plans to schedule many local exhibitions, as well as
send the collection to other venues. Cockerline donated the collection in honor
of his late mother because of her influence as his artistic mentor as a child.
The donation will be used to educate SDSU students in many departments on
campus. “When I put the collection together it was basically to form a context
of printmaking from 1960 to 1982,” said Cockerline. “I always wanted it to be a
Museum interns will gain experience handling, cataloging, researching and
preserving contemporary works of art. History and political science students
will be able to visually see the impact social unrest and current events of the
period had on the visual arts.
Lisa Scholten, SDAM Curator of Collections, said the donation impacts the public
by exposing people to rarely seen art. “It would take visiting hundreds of
different museums to view all of the prints that now call the South Dakota Art
Museum home,” said Scholten.
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