MFA Boston Receives Major Gift of John Singer Sargent Drawings and Letters

The MFA has received a major donation of John Singer Sargent paraphernalia. Photo: franfrolsom via wordpress

Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts (MFA) has been gifted a trove of John Singer Sargent letters, drawings, photographs, caricatures, and other memorabilia, the Boston Globe reports.

The items, which were amassed over the course of 40 years, were donated by Richard and Leonée Ormond, and by Warren and Jan Adelson.

The MFA’s pledge to create a Sargent archive at the Forsyth Institute convinced the donors to bequeath the collection to the New England-based museum.

John Singer Sargent Self Portrait (1907) Photo: Wikimedia Commons

John Singer Sargent, Self Portrait (1907)
Photo: Wikimedia Commons

The gift complements the MFA’s existing collection of over 500 Sargent paintings, sculptures, and murals.

“Boston is Sargent’s city,” MFA director Malcolm Rogers told the BG. “He had exhibitions here, he painted commissions here, many of his friends were here, so it’s a natural thing for the MFA, which already has a fantastic collection of Sargent material, to add to that,” he explained.

“We weren’t getting any younger, and what was going to happen to all these materials?,” Richard Ormond, who is Sargent’s grandnephew, told the BG. “We didn’t want it to die a quiet death in aspic.”

Richard Ormond — the artist's grandnephew — donated much of the trove. Photo: Hannah McKay via The Boston Globe

Richard Ormond, the artist’s grandnephew, donated much of the trove.
Photo: Hannah McKay via The Boston Globe

Sargent made headlines recently when Barbara Streisand donated a painting to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, to celebrate the institution’s 50th anniversary (see Barbra Streisand Donates Priceless John Singer Sargent to LACMA).

“Yours Sincerely, John S. Sargent,” an exhibition featuring several items from the Sargent archive,will be on view at Boston’s MFA from July 25-November 15, 2015.

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