San José Museum of Art Announces 86 New Acquisitions by 27 Artists

  • SAN JOSE, California
  • /
  • August 11, 2021

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Maia Cruz Palileo, "Wind, Water, Stone," 2020. Oil on canvas, 50 x 120 inches. Museum purchase with funds provided by Tad J. Freese and Brook Hartzell, the Lipman Family Foundation, and Yvonne and Mike Nevens, in honor of Cheryl and Bruce Kiddoo. 2021.01.
San José Museum of Art

Museum continues to advance gender parity and cultural diversity in permanent collection.

The San José Museum of Art (SJMA) has announced the acquisition of 86 works by a diverse roster of 27 artists. Acquired through purchase and gifts from generous donors from July 2020 through June 2021, these recent additions demonstrate SJMA’s collecting strategy in action by focusing on gender parity, cultural diversity, and artistic innovation. Many of the works are by women artists, artists of color, or artists with connections to the Bay Area. Also included are major gifts from Californian art collectors Eileen Harris Norton and David Hoberman, and from the estates of artists Sonya Rapoport and Brett Weston.

Laura Aguilar, "Motion #46," 1999. Gelatin silver print, Edition 2/10, 18 ¼ x 13 ¼ inches. Museum purchase with funds provided by the Lipman Acquisition Fund. 2020.10.03. Image courtesy of The Laura Aguilar Trust of 2016.
San José Museum of Art

“I am grateful to our generous Acquisitions Committee and curatorial team for their thoughtful strategy on these important acquisitions. These influential artists not only reflect the innovative spirit of San José and Silicon Valley, but also represent the cultural heritages and lived experiences of our community and beyond,” said S. Sayre Batton, Oshman Executive Director, San José Museum of Art. “These important and timely works will expand the range of voices represented in our collection and enrich our community for generations to come by creating new opportunities for scholarship and discovery.”

These works expand the Museum’s mission of showcasing significant art historical developments in modern and contemporary art from the 1960s to present, including works by Uta Barth, Tony Feher, Jorge Pardo, and the San Francisco-born artist Leo Valledor. Examples of artworks that address pressing contemporary issues and events include Carrie Mae Weems’ People of a Darker Hue (2016), a video paying tribute to the police killings of unarmed Black people; and Stephanie Syjuco’s Chromakey Aftermath 1 and 2 (Flags, Sticks, and Barriers) (2017), photographs of staged protest props in bright chroma green that explore how media bias distort the meaning of public protests. Also acquired is a selection of five photographs from Laura Aguilar’s “Stillness” and “Motion” series that will be on view in the upcoming exhibition Our whole, unruly selves. Aguilar, an active member of the LGBTQ+ and Latinx communities of Los Angeles, shifted away from constructions of identity in this photographic series to focus on the materiality of the body.

These additions also expand the Museum’s holdings of artists with connections to the San Francisco Bay Area such as Sadie Barnette, Jean Conner, Russell Crotty, Kim Dingle, Tim Hawkinson, Kenyetta A. C. Hinkle, Sonya Rapoport, Lordy Rodriguez, Stephanie Syjuco, Leo Valledor, and San José-raised brothers and artist-duo Bruce and Norman Yonemoto.

Building on SJMA’s commitment to celebrate the creative impact in the South Bay, this group of acquisitions features Pae White’s Noisy Blushes (2020), the largest artist’s commission in the Museum’s history. The sculpture comprises 12,000 hexagonal stainless-steel disks suspended within SJMA’s atrium and unveiled to the public in October 2020 to celebrate the Museum’s 50th anniversary.

Leo Valledor, "LUST," 1975. Gift of Lipman Family Foundation. Photo by J. Arnold, Impart Photography.
San José Museum of Art

Additional artists whose works were recently acquired include Judy Chicago, Vanessa German, Ramiro Gomez, Steffani Jemison, Hayv Kahraman, Maia Cruz Palileo, Arlene Shechet, Jiro Takamatsu, and Brett Weston.


SJMA is located at 110 South Market Street in downtown San José, California. The Museum is open Friday through Sunday, 11am to 6pm and until 8pm or later on the first Friday of each month. Admission is $10 for adults, $8 for seniors, and free to members, college students, youth and children ages 17 and under, and school teachers (with valid ID). For more information, call 408.271.6840 or visit

Melanie Samay
San José Museum of Art

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