The Wadsworth Atheneum's remarkable collection of twentieth-century art is due to a succession of adventurous directors and curators. This beautiful book showcases the museum's holdings and provides fascinating details about their acquisition. In 1931, the famed Chick Austin, director of the Atheneum from 1929 to 1944, purchased works by Dali, Calder, Picasso, Ernst, and others. Austin's successor, Charles Cunningham, added works by Stanley Spencer, Henry Moore, Maillol, and Marini. In more recent years, examples of American modernists and expressionists such as Georgia O'Keeffe, Arthur Dove, Willem de Kooning, and Jackson Pollock have also been acquired.
Eric Zafran, curator of European art at the Wadsworth Atheneum, Hartford, Connecticut, is also the editor of Gauguin's Nirvana : Painters at Le Pouldu, 1889--90, published by Yale University Press.