Large donation of modern art to The Hyde Collection

hyde collection feibes schmitt gallery rendering

A rendering of the planned gallery.

The Hyde Collection formally announced this week that it received a gift of art and cash totaling more than $11 million from Werner Feibes of Schenectady. The museum says it's largest donation since donated her home and artwork to establish the museum in Glens Falls in 1952. And it says it's planning to use the money and art to open a new gallery for modern and contemporary art next summer.

From the press release:

For more than four decades, Werner Feibes and the late James Schmitt built a world-class art collection that aligned with their personal tastes and interest in non-objective art, Pop art, abstract art, and Minimalism. Building on Mr. Feibes' previous donation of 55 Modern and Contemporary works to The Hyde in 2015, the bequest includes the remainder of the collection (105 works). Combined, the Feibes and Schmitt gift more than doubles The Hyde's holdings of Modern and Contemporary art, situating the Museum as a regional hub for Post-war art. ...
Mr. Feibes and Mr. Schmitt began collecting in the 1950s. Their collection of paintings, drawings, prints, mixed media, and sculpture includes work from some of the best known and most respected artists of the twentieth century, including Josef Albers, Jean Arp, Grace Hartigan, Keith Haring, Ellsworth Kelly, Sol LeWitt, Robert Motherwell, George Rickey, Louise Nevelson, Bridget Riley, Robert Rauschenberg, and David Smith.

Feibes and Schmitt had an architecture practice in Schenectady for many years, and they were prominent figures in the effort to preserve the Stockade neighborhood. And after many decades together, they married in 2013. Schmitt passed away two months later at age 87.

As Werner Feibes told the Times Union last year when discussing the gift to the museum: "You can't own art. It's meant to be seen and enjoyed by people."

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