Peter Norton Donates Significant Art Collection to Rose Art Museum

  • WALTHAM, Massachusetts
  • /
  • March 02, 2015

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Kamrooz Aram, Untitled (Three Trees), 2004. Painting, 52 x 66". Gift of Peter Norton

Christopher Bedford, director of the Rose Art Museum at Brandeis University, has announced that computer programmer and philanthropist Peter Norton has donated 41 works created by some of today’s leading contemporary artists to the museum. Part of a series of gifts to university art museums and teaching museums throughout the country—drawn from Norton’s personal collection—the donation is designed to deepen the integration of the visual arts in higher education, foster creative museum practice, and engage audiences with contemporary art.  

Doug Aitken, Autumn, 1994, Video, 7 1/2 min. Gift of Peter Norton.

“This is a historic addition to our collection that will significantly enhance our ability to actively engage students and diverse audiences with our collection here at the Rose.  It is an astounding endorsement of our goals to integrate the entire museum into academic and public discourse,” said Bedford, the Henry and Lois Foster Director of the Rose.  He added, “this gift represents what Peter Norton’s collection is best known for – work that challenges definitions of racial and sexual identity and pushes the boundaries between media and genres.”

The gift to the Rose includes video, photography, painting, prints, sculpture and mixed media works by Doug Aiken, Kamrooz Aram, Luca Bovoli, Dorothy Cross, E.V. Day, Mark Dion, Nicole Eisenman, Omer Fast, Vincent Fecteau, Tom Friedman, Anna Gaskell, Robert Gober, Tim Hawkinson, Mike Kelley, Karen Kilimnik, David Korty, Gabriel Kuri, Rachel Lachowicz, Christian Marclay, Damien Ortega, Lari Pittman, Rona Pondick, Jason Rhoades, Erika Rothenberg, Allen Ruppersberg, Jim Shaw, Jean Shin, Alyson Shotz, Alexis Smith, Kara Walker, Gillian Wearing, Christopher Wool, and Lisa Yuskavage.  The addition of these works will greatly broaden the scope and depth of the Rose’s collection, allowing for the study of a fuller and more continuous narrative of contemporary art.

In addition to the Rose, the museums receiving a gift from Norton in his second major donation project (he undertook his first in 2000) include: the Tang Teaching Museum, Skidmore, Saratoga Springs, New York; UC Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, Berkeley, California; Mary & Leigh Block Museum of Art, Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois; California Museum of Photography and Sweeney Art Gallery at UCR ARTSblock, University of California Riverside, Riverside, California; Hammer Museum at UCLA, Los Angeles, California; Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum, Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri; and Williams College Museum of Art, Williamstown, Massachusetts.

Highlights of the Rose gift include:

Mark Dion, Treasure Chest (New Bedford Harbor), 1998, Zinc-lined wooden box, porcelain, and oxidized metal.  A permanent installation, Mark Dion: The Undisciplined Collector, will open at the Rose in the fall of 2015.

Omer Fast, Glendive Foley, 2000, 2 channel installation, 20 minute loop.  Fast’s video installation 5000 Feet is the Best was featured in the inaugural Rose Video exhibition in the fall of 2013.  Glendive Foley was exhibited at the 2002 Whitney Biennial in New York and Manifesta 7 in Italy.

Three works by the late LA-based artist Jason Rhoades, who was “known for sprawling installations that give simple assembly-line processes a kind of byzantine intrigue,” (Karen Rosenberg, NYTimes)–Black spots from Sendi paper, 1995, Collage; Blue Room and Love Seat: Channel Islands National Park, 1901 Spinnaker Dr., Ventura, CA 93001, 1995, mixed media; and the artist’s seminal work Workshop from Swedish Erotica & Fiero Parts, 1994, Mixed media.  The Rose will be presenting a solo exhibition of Rhoades’ work in the fall of 2015.

Gillian Wearing, My Favourite Track, 1994, 5 monitor video installation, 90 minutes.  Wearing’s Bully is currently on view in Rose Video through March 8, 2015.

Lisa Yuskavage, The Bad Habits: Asspicking, Foodeating, Headshrinking, Socialclimbing, Motherfucker, 1996. five cast hydrocal figures with artificial pearls and flowers.  Yuskavage will be featured in her first solo museum exhibition in the United States in over 15 years at the Rose in the fall of 2015

Located on Brandeis University’s campus at 415 South Street, Waltham, MA, the museum is free and open to the public Tuesday through Sunday, noon – 5:00 p.m. 


For more information, visit or call 781-736-3434.  


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