NORMAN — A Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art supporter has pledged to match up to $200,000 toward the purchase of a painting by contemporary artist Ed Ruscha.
Titled “No Man's Land,” the work outlines the territory of Oklahoma before it became a state.
Fundraising efforts to acquire the painting began this fall, but the pledge announced this week provides major momentum for the fundraising effort.
The benefactor has initially agreed to match any donations made before Dec. 31.
“We have been given the incredible opportunity to acquire this major work of art by a leading, living American artist,” museum director Ghislain d'Humieres said in a news release.
“Now, thanks to a generous benefactor who appreciates the value this work would bring to our collections, we have the opportunity to raise up to $400,000 toward the purchase of this work. I hope organizations and individuals will please consider making an end-of-the-year donation to the museum to help acquire this much-needed painting by an original Oklahoma artist.”
“No Man's Land,” which dates from 1990, recalls the artist's youth in Oklahoma and his perceptions of the world outside of the state.
Ruscha was born in Nebraska in 1937 and moved to Oklahoma City in 1941. He relocated to Los Angeles in 1956 with friend and aspiring musician Mason Williams, and enrolled at Chouinard Art Institute (now California Institute of the Arts).
The work is being offered to the museum for purchase and is currently on loan and on display at the museum.
If acquired, “No Man's Land” will be the first major Ruscha work held in a public collection in Oklahoma.
“Although contemporary art is widely accepted and appreciated in other parts of the United States, it is still a relatively new genre in the Midwest,” d'Humieres said.
“This iconic piece deserves to be a part of the state's patrimony.”
For information about the fundraising campaign, call 325-4938 or go to www.ou.edu/fjjma. All gifts toward the art acquisition are tax deductible.