A treasure trove of art collected by Saundra and the late William Lane has been acquired by the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.
On Saturday, the museum announced the extraordinary gift of 6,000 photographs, 100 works on paper, and 25 paintings, potentially valued in the hundreds of millions of dollars.
Pioneer collectors in American modernist painting and photography, the Lanes previously gave 90 early 20th century paintings to the museum by such seminal artists as Georgia O’Keeffe, Marsden Hartley, and Jacob Lawrence.
The new gift encompasses the entire photographic estate of Charles Sheeler - 2,500 photographs - and the same number of photographs by Edward Weston, and more by Ansel Adams, Imogen Cunnignham and others.
Paintings and works on paper by Arthur Dove, Hyman Bloom, John Marin, Stuart Davis, Franz Kline, and Charles Sheeler will bolster the Lane's earlier gift.
“We have overnight transformed the photography collection from good to great,’’ said Karen Haas, the MFA’s Curator of the Lane Collection.
Saundra Lane, whose husband died in 1995, is a museum trustee and longtime friend of the MFA. Bill Lane was also a trustee.
Museum director Malcolm Rogers told the Boston Globe that the gift, one of the largest in the MFA's history, was "...the most wonderful shock."
"The superb collection assembled by Saundra and Bill is a very personal one, reflecting the Lanes’ cultivated tastes and their close relationships with a number of major artists of the 20th century," said Rogers.