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Golden Eye

Muriel Newman’s obituary in the Chicago Tribune called her “the doyenne of Chicago modern art collectors,” an observation borne out by these works she acquired over the years; except for the dress, all of them reside at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art.
 

A silver and gray ensemble by Cristobal Balenciaga (1954), among the more than 400 items Newman donated to the costume and textile department at the Chicago History Museum

 

Willem de Kooning, Attic (1949): Newman thought the painter had terrible teeth and claimed he had wanted her to run away with him to Europe.

 

Mark Rothko, No. 3 (1953): After running into the artist on the streets of New York, Newman bought this painting right off the easel.

 

Arshile Gorky, Virginia Landscape (1943): The Armenian-born artist created this work—pencil and colored crayons on paper—five years before his suicide.

 

Hans Hofmann, Mecca (1961): In the 1930s, the German-born painter immigrated to the United States, where he had wide influence as a teacher.

 

Alberto Giacometti, The Forest (Composition with Seven Figures and a Head) (1951): A grandchild of Newman’s learned to walk with the help of her grandmother’s Giacometti sculptures.

 

Jackson Pollock, Number 28, 1950 (1950), for which Newman paid $3,000: She and Pollock hobnobbed at New York’s Cedar Tavern, until the painter was barred from the premises for his rowdy behavior.

 

Photography: (Dress: Image Courtesy of Chicago History Museum) © 1954 Cristobal Balenciaga; (From Left: Images courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York) Willem de Kooning, Attic, 1949, © 2009 The Willem de Kooning Foundation / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York; Mark Rothko, No. 3, 1953 [cat #486], © 1998 Kate Rothko Prizel & Christopher Rothko / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York; (Images courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York) Arshile Gorky, Virginia Landscape, 1943, © 2009 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York; Hans Hofmann, Mecca, © 2009 Renate, Hans & Maria Hofmann Trust / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York; Alberto Giacometti, The Forest, © 2009 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP / FAAG, Paris; Jackson Pollock, Number 28, 1950, 1950, © 2009 The Pollock-Krasner Foundation / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York)

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