John and Susan Horseman have given the Saint Louis Art Museum a major gift of 20th-century American art. The gift includes excellent examples of American surrealism, American Scene, and modernist painting—all areas with significant gaps in the Museum’s collection.
“I am deeply grateful to John and Susan Horseman, whose generosity enables a richer and more complex representation of American modernism and will help us share a more compelling and diverse story of American art,” said Brent R. Benjamin, the Barbara B. Taylor Director of the Saint Louis Art Museum.
The gift adds to the collection 16 paintings, including works by major artists not represented at the Museum. Walt Kuhn’s psychologically intense circus portraits are considered among the best of his oeuvre, as are the dreamlike landscapes of leading modernist Yasuo Kuniyoshi. “The Mountain” by Helen Lundeberg was included in one of the most important exhibitions on American female surrealists. The gift also includes a work by Charles Burchfield, one of the most acclaimed watercolorists of the 20th century.
The Horseman gift includes works by lesser known artists as well, whose reputations have been on the rise, such as Middleton Manigault and Walter Pach, two of the nation’s earliest modernists. Works by Józef Bakoś and Wally Strautin fill important gaps of organic and geometric abstraction. Also included are works by O. Louis Guglielmi and Walter Quirt, two leading social surrealists of the 1930s whose social engagement is continued in the post war works of Mervin Jules and Michael Lenson.
John Horseman, the managing partner and chief executive of St. Louis-based Horseman Group, is a member of the Museum’s Board of Commissioners and the chair of the Collections Committee. Susan Horseman is a member of the Museum’s Friends Board. Together, they are members of the Leadership Circle.