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News & Reviews
Miami art collectors Dennis and Debra Scholl are divesting of yet another of their art collections, donating 200 contemporary aboriginal Australian works to three U.S. museums.
Miami’s Patricia & Phillip Frost Art Museum at Florida International University, which showed a selection of the works earlier this year, will be one of the recipients of the multi-million dollar gift. The others are the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and the Nevada Museum of Art in Reno.
“These three institutions are really engaged in this area and with us,” said Dennis Scholl, a lawyer and arts executive who attended FIU. “We want the work to be seen.”
About 90 works each will go to FIU and the Nevada Museum; 19 works will be integrated into the Met’s holdings.
The Scholls began buying aboriginal art about 12 years ago when they traveled to Australia in conjunction with a wine-making business they owned. Their collection includes work by prominent painters Warlimpirrnga Tjapaltjari, Paddy Bedford, Gulumbu Yunipingu and Nongirrnga Marawili, who have translated traditional cultural expression into modern formats.
“The Scholls’ passion for these artists and their work, steeped in ancient cultural traditions, will inspire our visitors as we increase the breadth, variety and global reach of the art we exhibit,” Jordana Pomeroy, director of the Patricia & Phillip Frost Art Museum FIU, said in a statement.
Their previous collections have focused on prints, photography and conceptual art. The couple also donated 300 contemporary works to the Pérez Art Museum Miami in 2012. “It takes a good decade to become really engaged with a genre,” Dennis Scholl said. “Then we think to find a good institutional home for the work.”
Next on their radar: post-war and contemporary drawings.
Both are involved with multiple local art institutions. Dennis Scholl, former vice president of arts for the Knight Foundation, recently was named CEO of ArtCenter/South Florida. Debra Scholl chairs the board of Locust Projects, which showcases cutting-edge work.