The foundation of Roy Lichtenstein is donating more than 400 works to the Whitney, and the artist’s papers to the Smithsonian.
In a press release sent Wednesday, Dorothy Lichtenstein, the estate’s president and the artist’s widow, said the estate of the artist is winding down and finding a home for its holdings. Lichtenstein announced that the foundation struck a major deal to donate 400 works to the Whitney, the museum now located just four blocks up Washington Street from Lichtenstein’s former West Village studio. The works constitute about half of the foundation’s trove, reported the New York Times, and Lichtenstein said she intends to leave the studio to the Whitney as well. “We have always intended that the Foundation, now almost twenty years old, would not operate in perpetuity and are delighted we can create a new way forward with our first set of chosen successor institutions, well before we ‘sunset,’” she said.
Adam Weinberg, the Whitney’s director, told the Times the museum got to handpick whatever items it wanted from the collection, and wound up choosing five paintings, 17 sculptures and 145 prints, emphasizing work that complemented the 26 works by the artist already in the collection.
The estate also announced that the Smithsonian’s Archives of American Art will receive half a million documents relating to Lichtenstein’s practice, and the plan is to digitize the holdings and make them available for free online. The process will take five to seven years to complete.