Charlotte and Paul Corddry donate their extensive art collection to The Baker Museum
New Acquisitions: In Context
An exhibition at The Baker Museum
March 26 –
July 31, 2016
The cerebral title of New Acquisitions: In Context belies its showy nature. The exhibition is a chance for The Baker Museum to bring forward our latest prized gifts and put them on display for the first time. Comprised of the works donated in the fall by Charlotte and Paul Corddry, along with about 15 works already held in the permanent collection, New Acquisitions hopes to represent how this donation dovetails perfectly with the museum’s holdings.
“Just from an objective perspective, this is a very fine collection,” says Frank Verpoorten, Museum Director and Chief Curator. “But put into the context of our American and European collections at The Baker Museum, it becomes something even more special. It fills in important intellectual gaps with artists we already have in our collection and adds influential artists who are new to our museum.”
Frank called the collection of Paul and Charlotte Corddry one of the most thoughtful he has seen in his time in Naples. Built over the past several decades, the 50-plus work collection spans a broad swath of modern and contemporary art, focusing mainly on American works. With pieces by Picasso, Rauschenberg, Lichtenstein, Motherwell, Stella and more, the art both broadens and deepens the permanent collection, says Gisela Carbonell, Director of Curatorial Affairs. There are also a good number of women represented in the new works, from artists such as Marilyn Minter, Viola Frey and Pat Steir.
“This collection helps us move into new areas, such as contemporary art,” she says. “Our collection is fantastic for art from the 1930s-40s but not as strong with the 1990s-2000s.” Gisela, who works as the museum’s main arbiter of the permanent collection, says the new works both allow for new interpretations and narratives for curators to explore in exhibitions and also provides a blueprint for the future direction of the collection. In some instances, the works from the Corddry collection provide superlative examples of a particular artist or period. In others, they showcase a different side of an artist from what was already part of the permanent collection.
And they offer other collectors a chance, just as Naples Collects does, to see how powerful works are integrated into the museum’s culture.
“Of course there is a hope that seeing these works on display might inspire future gifts to the museum,” Gisela says.
The Corddrys’ support for Artis—Naples spans more than two decades. Paul Corddry is the retired president of Ore-Ida Foods and a former senior vice president at the H. J. Heinz Corporation. In addition to being a previous board member of Artis—Naples, he has served on the boards of American University in Cairo, Swarthmore College and the Corcoran Gallery and School of Art.
“The reason we have made the donation to The Baker Museum is that after a rocky start with a series of museum directors, we feel that under Frank and Kathleen’s leadership, the museum is now in a great place,” Paul said when the gift was announced in November. “It has become a vibrant organization, and we have faith that The Baker Museum will continue to be an artistic resource for our region. In this spirit, Charlotte and I wanted to leave our art to The Baker Museum.”