The Philadelphia Museum of Art Is $10 Million Richer

The gift nets the museum its first Edward Hopper.

Edward Hopper, Road and Trees (1962). The painting has been donated to the Philadelphia Museum of Art from the collection of Daniel W. Dietrich II. Photo: Edward Hopper/Whitney Museum of American Art, collection of Daniel W. Dietrich II.
Edward Hopper, Road and Trees (1962). The painting has been donated to the Philadelphia Museum of Art from the collection of Daniel W. Dietrich II. Photo: Edward Hopper/Whitney Museum of American Art, collection of Daniel W. Dietrich II.

It’s a good day for the Philadelphia Museum of Art: The institution has received a generous gift of over 50 American artworks along with a $10 million endowment from Pennsylvania art collector and philanthropist Daniel W. Deitrich II, who died in September.

A longtime supporter of the arts, Deitrich served on the Philadelphia Museum’s contemporary art committee, and was responsible for bringing Roxy Paine’s large-scale installation Symbiosis to Philadelphia in 2014 with the Association for Public Art.

Cy Twombly, <em>Untitled (Roma)</em>, 1961. The painting has been donated to the Philadelphia Museum of Art from the collection of Daniel W. Dietrich II. Photo: © Cy Twombly Foundation.

Cy Twombly, Untitled (Roma), 1961. The painting has been donated to the Philadelphia Museum of Art from the collection of Daniel W. Dietrich II.
Photo: © Cy Twombly Foundation.

Among the artists represented in the gift are Cy Twombly, Philip Guston, Agnes Martin, and Eva Hesse. Deitrich also bequeathed no less than 15 Paul Thek works and 12 pieces by Thomas Eakins, as well as a significant cache of the latter’s archival materials including photographs, pencil studies, and artist’s tools.

Perhaps most significantly, the museum now has its very first work by Edward Hopper. The 1962 canvas, Road and Trees, depicts a grove of trees on the side of a narrow road.

Circle of Thomas Eakins, <em>Untitled (Samuel Murray, Thomas Eakins, and William R. O’Donovan in Eakins’s Chestnut Street Studio)</em> (1891–92). Photo: courtesy the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Circle of Thomas Eakins, Untitled (Samuel Murray, Thomas Eakins, and William R. O’Donovan in Eakins’s Chestnut Street Studio) (1891–92).
Photo: courtesy the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

“When Hopper was painting, the museum wasn’t really focused on acquiring contemporary American art,” museum director Timothy Rub admitted to the New York Times. To be given a Hopper now, when his best works rarely come to market, and can command prohibitively high prices (even for prints), is a real boon.

The $10 million endowment will be used to support the museum’s contemporary art program.

Rub called the donation “a real game changer,” noting that “all sorts of new things become possible as a consequence of an endowment like this.”


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