Selections from the Harry C. Sigman Gift of European and American Decorative Art
February 10, 2015 through January 24, 2016
This exhibit is an informal preview of objects primarily from Europe but also America recently given to the Museum by Harry C. Sigman, an eminent Los Angeles attorney and noted collector.
The first object he purchased in 1969 was a vase by the French designer Emile Gallé, and his gift to the Morse includes many superb examples of works from Gallé’s studio in Nancy, France, as well as from another major French glassmaker, Daum Frères & Cie, also of Nancy. Sigman’s gift of eighty-six objects includes art glass, pottery, metalwork, and furniture of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. These works provide context for understanding the design reform zeal of the era—manifested through the Art Nouveau style as well as the Arts and Crafts and the Aesthetic movements—that were international in scope and influence. The material encompasses twenty-six artists, several of whom were not yet represented in the Museum’s collection. As can easily be seen in our adjacent Art Nouveau exhibition, the donation perfectly dovetails with the strengths of the Museum’s collection. Though comprised mainly of Jeannette and Hugh McKean’s massive gift, the Morse collection has always been supported by generous individuals such as Harry C. Sigman whose contributions have helped it to grow in important ways. The finely crafted objects on view can be appreciated both individually and in relationship to the Museum’s entire collection. In the future you will see these wonderful objects in various Museum exhibitions. In this exhibit, we pay tribute to Sigman’s generous gift informally but enthusiastically.