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The 2012 Art Purchase Dinner

Four works of art were nominated by four curators to become the newest addition to the Chrysler Collection. Only one could win.

That's the story from the annual Mowbray Arch Society Art Purchase Dinner at the Chrysler Museum of Art. The nomination battle resembled an old-time political convention in terms of speeches, presentations and three rounds of balloting. In the end, Chief Curator Jeff Harrison's nominee prevailed: James Pradier's flawlessly cast, 1852 neoclassical bronze Sappho.

The nominated selections will be on view in Huber Court through Dec. 6, so stop by and pick your personal favorite, or take a moment to review them here by clicking any thumbnail detail to enlarge.

Finally, we conclude with a bit of the backstory on the winning selection. The model for Pradier's piece was his mistress, a famous French actress named Juliette Drouet. She later left Pradier, and even gave up acting, to become the mistress of Victor Hugo, the author of Les Miserables.

Jeff Harrison

Chief Curator

James Pradier
French (b. Geneva, 1790–1852)
ca. 1852

Kelly Conway

Barry Curator of Glass

Steffen Dam
Danish (b. 1961)
Memory Box
Glass and mixed media

Amy Brandt

McKinnon Curator of Modern
and Contemporary Art

Robin Rhode
South African (b. 1976)
Throw Away
Nine color coupler prints

Crawford Alexander Mann III

The Brock Curator of American Art

Emanuel Gottlieb Leutze
American (1816–1868)
Angel on the Battlefield
Oil on canvas