By Steve Tawa
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The Philadelphia Museum of Art is on the receiving end of more gifts, what it describes as an exceptional bequest from the estate of a local collector.
The gift includes more than 50 artworks, as well as a $10-million endowment from the philanthropist and art collector Daniel Dietrich ll, who lived in Chester County. He died last year.
Museum Curator of American Art Kathleen Foster says “Dietrich had a deep and abiding love of contemporary art.”
“So, his house was full of these thoughtful, I would say, contemplative paintings.”
She says one of the standouts is from a major 20th century artist, Edward Hopper, and his 1962 painting, called “Road and Trees.”
“This painting, in an earlier drawing, that he also gave to the museum, has a speeding car along the road.”
“Road and Trees” may depict a view one might see while looking through a car window nearby his home on Cape Cod.
“So, he’s taken the car out at the last, in order to just bear down on the simplicity of this idea of the American road.”
The museum says Dietrich’s collection will strengthen its rich holdings with works by Hopper and ten other artists. The bequest also brings a portrait from the 19th century by the beloved Philadelphian, Thomas Eakins, the realist painter.
Hopper’s painting went up first in Gallery 124; the others will be placed on view in the coming weeks and months, integrated into the existing galleries.
The museum says the Dietrich artwork complements its 19th century, modern and contemporary art.