Arts & Culture

Bass family collection to be shown at Kimbell

The private art collection of Fort Worth philanthropists Nancy Lee and Perry Bass will go on exhibit at the Kimbell Art Museum in March, the museum announced today.

The collection includes such rarely seen gems as Vincent van Gogh’s Street in Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer (1888) and Le Laboureur (1889), as well as a major still life by Picasso, Compotieŗ, bouteille et guitar (1923).

The Basses collected important paintings and sculptures, from the impressionists in the 19th century to artists of the mid-20th century. Paintings by Monet, Pissarro, Renoir, Vuillard, Bonnard, Matisse, Miró, Léger, Chagall and Rothko will be on view, as will sculptures by Rodin, Maillol and Segal.

“My brothers and I are honored to have our parents’ collection at the Kimbell and are so pleased to have the opportunity to share their art with others,” Sid R. Bass said in a statement. He is the eldest of the four Bass brothers.

Visitors to the Nancy Lee and Perry R. Bass Performance Hall, which opened in 1998, will recognize one of the paintings. A portrait of the Basses by Scott Gentling that hangs in Bass Hall has the couple positioned in front of the Mark Rothko painting that will be in this exhibit.

One of the Bass’ stellar van Goghs was on display at the Kimbell in the 2009 exhibition “From the Private Collections of Texas: European Art, Ancient to Modern” but exhibited anonymously.

These are the sort of fleeting glimpses the public has had of the Bass art holdings. Kimbell Director Eric M. Lee was sure the public would like to see more. He approached the Bass brothers after the 2013 death of their mother, Nancy Lee. (Their father died in 2006.)

“I thought there would be a great deal of interest in the community, especially as many of these works have not been seen. The Basses have assembled an extraordinary collection, and until now, very few of the works have ever been seen in a public forum,” he said.

“Masterpieces From the Collection of Nancy Lee and Perry Bass” will open March 1 and be on display in the Piano Pavilion until May 25. The exhibition will be free.

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