The University Art Museum (UAM) at CSULB opened the first of five exhibitions titled "Grand Gestures: The Gordon F. Hampton Collection" on June 28, and it the exhibition will run through Aug. 12.
Curated by Laurie Monahan, an art historian and associate professor from UC Santa Barbara specializing in Post World War II American art, this first "Grand Gestures" exhibition highlights 35 works from the collection and is accompanied by a catalogue published by the UAM with essays by Monahan, UAM Director Christopher Scoates and Anna-Marie Sanchez, registrar and curator of the permanent collection.
The exhibition series was made possible through a $100,000 gift from Wesley and Mary Hampton in support of exhibition and education programs related to the Hampton Collection. As a result of their generosity, the UAM is naming a gallery in the museum in their honor. The naming ceremony and inauguration of the Wesley G. Hampton Gallery will be hosted by CSULB President F. King Alexander and UAM Director Christopher Scoates.
"This gift by Wesley and Mary Hampton has provided the UAM an important opportunity to showcase the Hampton Collection and continue researching many of its works," Scoates said. "One of our most valuable resources, this incredible body of work has been the inspiration for several exhibitions since 1999, but we have barely scratched the surface.
"The opportunities for scholarly investigation by our curatorial staff as well as the museum studies students are numerous," he added. "As part of our new programming strategy, we want to use the Hampton Collection for research and present the collection in new and exciting ways."
The Gordon F. Hamption Collection is comprised of 85 works of art with great strength in the area of second-generation abstract expressionist painting, including a seminal Adolph Gottlieb pictograph, seven major works spanning the entire breadth of Al Held's career, and five signature images by internationally recognized artist Lee Krasner.
Received on the occasion of the museum's 25th anniversary, the collection came to the UAM through the generosity of the Gordon Hampton Foundation and his children -- Wesley G. Hampton, Roger K. Hampton and Katharine Hampton Shenk. Gordon Hampton was a renowned Los Angeles antitrust attorney, an enlightened art patron, a philanthropist and a pioneering partner in the law firm of Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP, where the collection is currently housed.
The $100,000 gift will support opportunities or scholarly investigation and present the Hampton Collection at the museum annually over a period of five years. The funds will also support publishing an extensive, fully-illustrated catalogue about the collection.
In the past year, the museum has made strategic changes to its Education Department to better meet the needs of CSULB students and Long Beach community schools and districts by increasing the budget for those programs and adding new staff. These exhibitions will provide valuable experiences for interns and students in the Museum Studies Program; present the arts to children in school-based and summer programs; and offer a meaningful installation for community audiences.