Art historian donates collection to Texas museum

Sunday, July 21, 2002

AUSTIN, Texas -- Art historian Leo Steinberg has given his personal collection of more than 3,200 prints worth $3.5 million to the University of Texas Blanton Museum of Art.

Steinberg collected the prints over four decades beginning in the early 1960s. The artwork spans a period from the 15th to the 20th centuries, the Austin American-Statesman reported Wednesday.

Steinberg, an 82-year-old scholar based in New York City, has arranged for the university to acquire his entire collection through a trust arrangement.

The gift is the biggest donation of artwork to the museum since 1998's acquisition of the Suida-Manning collection of Old Master paintings. Many of the same artists in that extensive, $35 million collection are represented by prints in the Steinberg acquisition.

The prints collection includes masterpieces by Rembrandt, Durer and the circle of printmakers formed by Rubens, as well as more modern works by Matisse, Picasso, Grosz and Johns.

The collection includes prints that represent the only surviving record of several works by Michelangelo that have been destroyed or lost.

"Having spent most of my life studying art and sharing my enthusiasm with others, it was important to me that this collection live within a museum where it will continue to intrigue and inspire students," said Steinberg, author of "The Sexuality of Christ in Renaissance Art and Modern Oblivion."

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