For the past 10 days we’ve been highlighting amazing works of art that became part of the SLAM collection in 2015. You can read each installment here. Happy New Year!
Perhaps the most significant 2015 addition to the Art Museum’s collection was announced just weeks ago — Horace Pippin’s Sunday Morning Breakfast. The 1943 painting is on view now in Gallery 337.
Sunday Morning Breakfast depicts a warm family scene. Two young children sit at a central table, as a woman serves them breakfast. A man sits on the left, watching the simple moment. A kettle whistles on boil, the stove glows orange, and the children eagerly await their freshly plated breakfast.
Depicting a scene drawn from the artist’s childhood memories, the painting is one of the finest examples of the African-American domestic scenes for which Pippin is best known, said Brent R. Benjamin, director of the Saint Louis Art Museum.
“Sunday Morning Breakfast will occupy a place of pride in the museum’s American art galleries and will underscore the Saint Louis Art Museum’s ongoing commitment to build the collection through thoughtful and strategic acquisitions,” Benjamin said.
Benjamin said the purchase builds on—and will complement—acquisitions beginning in the 1940s of significant works by African-American artists, including Edward Mitchell Bannister, Eldzier Cortor, Robert S. Duncanson, Norman Lewis, Kerry James Marshall, Faith Ringgold, Henry Ossawa Tanner, Kara Walker and Charles White.
M. Melissa Wolfe, the museum’s curator of American art, said Sunday Morning Breakfast will have a permanent presence as a major cornerstone of the American collection, which will be reinstalled in phases next year.
“The painting will serve as a bridge within the broader American collection to reveal complex and often-overlooked relationships between styles and practices typically presented as quite disparate.” said Wolfe. “Pippin’s work shares interests equally with our great works by Thomas Hart Benton, Ralston Crawford, and Alexander Calder. It brings new connections that will push the viewer to see the collection afresh.”