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Discovered Gems: Artwork from the Helene Wurlitzer Collection
November 27, 2021 @ 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm
In collaboration with The Helene Wurlitzer Foundation, 203 Fine Art is proud to announce an exhibition of artwork from Helene Wurlitzer’s private collection, as well as works from the Foundation. Much like the obscurity of the Foundation itself, the art collection of its founder, Helene Wurlitzer (1874-1963), has been largely unseen and is now being made available for sale to the public as part of a fundraising initiative.
Beginning in the early 1940s, philanthropist Helene Wurlitzer started to support artists in Taos. With her personal taste leaning toward modern, Hispanic and Indigenous Pueblo artists, her influence on the Taos Art Colony was taking hold by the mid-1950s. Many of the more avant-garde artists she supported defined and ushered in a new era of Modern Art in the Southwest. In 1954, as a testament to her love for the arts, she established The Helene Wurlitzer Foundation of New Mexico with the mission to “support the artist and the creative process”. Since Helene’s passing in 1963, her legacy and vision endures through the Foundation’s artist residency program which hosts national and international literary, visual, and musical artists. The Foundation also supports emerging artists by offering scholarships to local students. During her lifetime Helene Wurlitzer amassed a significant collection of fine art, of which the offerings in this exhibit have been deaccessioned for fundraising purposes.
The artwork in this exhibition ranges from photography to paintings, both abstract to representational, portraiture, and Indigenous art. A highlight to the collection includes ten rare early photographs of Northern New Mexico and Taos Pueblo by Ansel Adams, which will be previewed for the first time in this exhibition and offered for sale through Sotheby’s American Art sale in spring of 2022. Also included are several works by early modernists Emil Bisttram and Earl Stroh, pieces by Ila McAfee, Barbara Harmon, Louis Ribak, Robert Ray, Native American artist Kai-Sa and Gerald Nailor Sr., along with other Taos Moderns.
Through this collaboration and fundraising exhibition, we invite the public to discover this unique collection, along with the importance of The Helene Wurlitzer Foundation, which is reaching out to the community at large for potential donors interested in supporting the Foundation’s mission. Funds from the sale of this artwork will be used to renovate the campus facility and enhance existing programs.