Collections

The Museum’s permanent collection encompasses over 6,500 objects, including paintings, prints, drawings, sculptures, and decorative arts. The diverse collection began with an initial gift by the Museum’s founders, Mr. and Mrs. William Henry Singer, Jr. Their generosity and that of subsequent donors have built a remarkable art collection that continues to grow. The collection includes strengths in American art, 19th century European, international collections that reflect the founders’ cosmopolitan worldview, and collections of world cultures.

Click Here to Browse the collection

Click Here to Take a Virtual Tour of the Museum

 

Objects of the Month

Object of April Now on View

In 1939, the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) barred African American opera singer Marian Anderson from singing in Washington D.C.’s Constitution Hall because she was black. District of Columbia officials further prohibited her from performing in the auditorium of a white public high school. First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt—an outspoken advocate for social justice— resigned her DAR membership in protest, and facilitated the relocation of the concert to federal property, on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. Ms. Anderson’s historic performance took place on Easter Sunday, April 9, and was attended by 75,000 people. In honor of the anniversary of this event, the Washington County Museum of Fine Arts is pleased to display this life-sized image of Ms. Anderson by Nicolaus Koni, a Hungarian-born sculptor noted for his sensitively modeled portrait busts of prominent cultural and historical figures.

Nicolaus Koni (1911-2000) Hungarian-American Bust of Marian Anderson, 1963 Bronze

Nicolaus Koni (1911-2000)
Hungarian-American
Bust of Marian Anderson, 1963
Bronze

 

Object of May (not on view)

Jacob Dooijewaard (1876-1969)
Dutch
Interior with Cradle (La chambre de bébé), 1926
Oil on Canvas
Gift of Thomas Newcomer

Born and trained in Amsterdam, the Dutch painter Jacob Dooijewaard became friends with the museum’s founders Anna Brugh Singer and William H. Singer, Jr. when they were living in Laren, the Netherlands. Dooijewaard often travelled with the Singers, and advised them on art purchases. After William Singer’s death in 1943, Dooijewaard remained a devoted companion to Mrs. Singer for the rest of her life.

In honor of Mother’s Day, the Washington County Museum of Fine Arts is pleased to display Interior with Cradle, a recent acquisition to its permanent collection. The painting joins two other paintings by Jacob Dooijewaard also dedicated to the topic of motherhood.

Jacob Dooijewaard (1876-1969)
Dutch
Endormi (Sleeping), 1926
Oil on Canvas
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. William H. Singer, Jr.

Jacob Dooijewaard (1876-1969)
Dutch
The Baby’s Layette, 1926
Oil on Canvas
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. William H. Singer, Jr.

 

 

 

Object of June  (not on view)

 

Joseph Deweese Holston (b.1944)  American Jazz at Takoma Station, 1998  Oil on Canvas Gift of the artist

Joseph Deweese Holston (b.1944)
American
Jazz at Takoma Station, 1998
Oil on Canvas
Gift of the artist

 

In celebration of the Western Maryland Blues Fest, the Washington County Museum of Fine Arts is pleased to feature Jazz at Takoma Station as its Object of the Month for the month of June. Largely self-taught, Joseph Holston also studied at Howard University and Montgomery College in Maryland. Reflecting the influence of artists Jacob Lawrence and Pablo Picasso, Holston employs bold colors and flat shapes to reduce subjects to their basic forms. His motifs include themes of daily African American life, as well as pure abstractions, African themes, and music. Holston’s syncopating forms and dynamic lines reflect the energy and rhythm of a jazz band performing at Takoma Station Tavern, not far from the artist’s studio.

 

 

Ashcan to Abstraction: Modernism in America

KersteingalleryphotolightenKerstein Gallery
(click for more photos)

This long-term exhibition, from the Museum’s permanent collection, explores the development of 20th century American art.  Artists such as John Sloan, Robert Henri, George Luks, William Glackens, Hugo Ballin, Philip Guston, Robert Goodnough, Gene Davis, and Grace Hartigan capture the full range of artistic movements experienced during this transformative century.

 

Sponsored by Mr. & Mrs. Robert M. Kerstein, The Nora Roberts Foundation,  The Henry Luce Foundation, and the Washington County Gaming Commission.

 

European Old Masters (ongoing)

Mazone, Giovanni, Saints Mary Magdalene and Paul

 Schreiber Gallery
(click for more photos)

 

Old master paintings form an important part of the Museum’s collection and are showcased in the Schreiber Gallery. Works of art by artists such as Giovanni Mazone, Timoteo Viti, and Pierre Mignard are included.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nineteenth Century American Art (ongoing)

Church cropped

Smith Gallery
(click for more photos)

Curated by Dr. Elizabeth Johns, Professor Emerita, History of Art at the University of Pennsylvania, this exhibition presents the Museum’s outstanding collection of nineteenth century American art. Artists in the installation include Thomas Cole, Frederic Church, Albert Bierstadt, Thomas Moran, Robert Spear Dunning, and John Gutzon Borglum. Exhibition sponsored in part by Art & Ruth Anne Callaham and Spence & Cinda Perry.

 

 

 

Singer Memorial Gallery (ongoing)

January 2014 921

Singer Gallery
(click for more photos)

 

The Singer Memorial Gallery was established in 1949 by the Museum’s founder, Hagerstown native Anna Brugh Singer (1873-1962), as a tribute to her husband, artist William Henry Singer, Jr. (1868 – 1943). The diverse art collection they amassed, and of which over a hundred works were donated to the Museum, conveys the story of their lives as American expatriates in Norway and art collectors, while presenting compelling and significant works reflecting American, Dutch, and French trends of the late nineteenth-century.

Opened in 2013, the current installation was organized by guest curator, Hollis McCullough, to display the tastes of the Singers and highlight the significant works of art they contributed to the Museum. Artists in the installation include Willard Metcalf, Childe Hassam, Adolphe Joseph Monticelli, Gustave Courbet, and Pierre-Auguste Rodin.

 

Gifts of Works of Art

To inquire about giving a work of art, please send digital images of the object and any details (i.e., artist/maker, title, date, and medium) to info@wcmfa.org. All gifts are reviewed by the curatorial department and Museum director, and are approved by the Collections and Exhibitions Committee and the Board of Trustees.

The Museum cannot authenticate or appraise works of art. For information on appraisers, please visit the websites for Appraisers Association of America or the International Society of Appraisers.

Nazi Era Provenance

The “Guidelines Concerning the Unlawful Appropriation of Objects During the Nazi Era” issued by the American Alliance of Museums (AAM) recommend those museums identify collection objects that were created before 1946, were acquired after 1932, underwent change of ownership during 1933-1945, and that were or might reasonably be thought to have been in continental Europe between those dates. The Museum adheres to these guidelines and continues to research the collection to establish complete provenance (history of ownership). The WCMFA is a participating museum on AAM’s Nazi Era Provenance Internet Portal.

To learn more about our collections, contact the Museum online, by calling (301) 739-5727, or via email at info@wcmfa.org.

Jacob Dooijewaard (1876-1969)

Dutch

Interior with Cradle (La chambre de bébé), 1926

Oil on Canvas

Gift of Thomas Newcomer