St. Louis Art Museum Receives $50m Art Collection

Norman Rockwell,Hot Stove League (1956)
Photo via: St. Louis Today

The art collection assembled by the late Charles Claude Johnson Spink and his wife Edith has been donated to the St. Louis Art Museum in Missouri, the St. Louis Today reports.

The collection, formed by 225 works and valued in the region of $50 million, includes two paintings by Norman Rockwell, two by Andrew Wyeth, and two by Jamie Wyeth. The two Rockwells are the most valuable paintings in the collection. One of them, Hot Stove League (1956), is worth around $1 million, according to the museum.

Yet it is the 200 Asian antiquities, some of them dating back to 5,000 years, that will benefit the museum’s collection the most, representatives of the museum told SLT. The collection includes 83 ceramics, 52 jade pieces, 50 pieces of metalwork, and 22 works in lacquer.

The Spinks began collecting in the 1970s and, according to the museum, they had always been committed to donating their pieces. Even though the St. Louis Art Museum’s collections committee only accepted the donation officially last week, many items are already on display, since the Spinks lent many works to the museum 10 years ago.

Charles Spink, who died in 1992, was the publisher of The Sporting News, known as the nation’s “Bible of Baseball.” Edith Spink, was elected mayor of Ladue in 1975 and retired in 1995. She died in 2011.

Brent Benjamin, director of St. Louis Art Museum, told SLT that the Spink donation is “one of the biggest gifts in a generation.”

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