Collecting Contemporary, 1960–2015: Selections from the Schorr Collection

Jean-Michel Basquiat. Leonardo da Vinci's Greatest Hits, 1982. Acrylic, oil paintstick and paper collage on canvas, 213.2 x 183.3 cm. The Schorr Family Collection © Artists Rights Society (ARS) New York / ADAGP, Paris

Collecting Contemporary, 1960–2015: Selections from the Schorr Collection features approximately twenty prints, paintings, drawings, and photographs acquired by Herbert Schorr, Graduate School Class of 1963, and Lenore Schorr over the last fifty-odd years. Created by such pioneering artists as Jean-Michel Basquiat, Justine Kurland, Nick Mauss, Elizabeth Murray, James Rosenquist, and Andy Warhol, these works serve as double portraits. On the one hand, they represent the Princeton University Art Museum’s long-standing relationship with Herb and Lenore Schorr, one based on a shared commitment to modern and contemporary art. On the other, they reconstruct different but overlapping artistic communities—bands of cohorts who left indelible imprints on the art worlds of their day.

The exhibition includes striking examples of Pop art, whose practitioners’ fascination with celebrities and commercial imagery defined much of the art of the 1960s. Other works exemplify a strong graphic impulse in contemporary art. Many of the latter were created during the heyday of the downtown art scene in New York, at a time when graffiti artists and painters collaborated with musicians and filmmakers. The exhibition concludes with three artists from the groundbreaking 1999 exhibition Another Girl, Another Planet, which heralded the arrival of a new generation of female photographers and a new approach to documentary photography, one in which fantasy played an important role. All of the works in this exhibition have been donated to Princeton by the Schorrs or have been on long-term loan to Princeton for two and a half decades, playing a crucial role in the Museum’s educational mission.

Collecting Contemporary, 1960–2015: Selections from the Schorr Collection has been made possible by the Virginia and Bagley Wright, Class of 1946, Program Fund for Modern and Contemporary Art, the Allen R. Adler, Class of 1967, Exhibitions Fund, and the Partners and Friends of the Princeton University Art Museum.