In September 2020, the Museum received an extraordinary gift of forty-one prints, ten sculptures, one drawing, and one oil painting, the generous bequest of the High’s longtime benefactors Irene and Howard Stein. Together with many previous donations, these works make the Irene and Howard Stein Collection one of several truly remarkable legacies entrusted to the High for the Atlanta community to enjoy.
The Steins were great admirers of Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, and their collection comprises many of the artist’s well-known masterpieces: spectacular posters for Le Divan Japonais and the Moulin Rouge as well as more personal works such as the Rembrandtesque portrait of fellow artist Adolphe Albert. Thirty-one in all, the new Toulouse-Lautrecs greatly augment the Museum’s holdings of this artist’s work and raise our collection of late-nineteenth-century poster art to a new level.
Outstanding among the other items in the Stein bequest are two works by Edgar Degas: a lithograph of a woman bathing and a drawing of racehorses related to Degas’s painting The Fallen Jockey. Other prints are by Pierre Bonnard, Mary Cassatt, Honoré Daumier, Paul Gauguin, Mela Muter, and Paul Signac.
The Steins’ other passion was French sculpture, and through their bequest, famous examples by Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux, Aimé-Jules Dalou, Charles Cordier, and François Rude now round out the High’s representation of nineteenth-century bronze, marble, and terracotta figures. Equally noteworthy are two exquisite terracotta statuettes by the Flemish Baroque sculptor Pieter Xavery and a rare early cast of Louis XIV on Horseback by Martin Desjardins that is destined to be one of the High’s new collection highlights.
The sculptures and a changing selection of works on paper from the Irene and Howard Stein Collection will go on view in the spring on the Second Level of the Stent Family Wing in the gallery bearing the Steins’ name (Gallery 207).
Top: Edgar Degas (French, 1834–1917), Study for the Fallen Jockey, ca. 1866, graphite on paper,
High Museum of Art, Atlanta, gift of Irene and Howard Stein, 2020.69.