June 1 – September 30, 2001

The Mead Art Museum at Amherst College proudly presents "A New York View: Modern Art from the Collection of Steven M. Jacobson '53" until September 30.

These 16 paintings and 20 photographs are selected from gifts to the museum between 1985 and 2000. They include important paintings created in New York in the '70s, '80s and '90s by Frank Stella, Jules Olitski and George McNeil; sculpture by Heide Fasnacht; works on paper by Suzanne McClelland and Mary Frank; and photographs by Lee Friedlander and Ray Metzker.

A Manhattan real estate lawyer who says he knew "nothing about art," Jacobson and his wife Diane began collecting art in 1969 at a museum in Mexico. He had an "epiphany," he says, seeing three Mexican Indians transfixed by a painting by Rufino Tamayo: "If they're looking at this with such interest, there must be something to this."

Inspired by a self-confessed "acquisitiveness," Jacobson started collecting Tamayo, but soon shifted his interest to contemporary American artists in New York. He came to know many artists personally, among them Stella and Olitski.

Jacobson's gifts of paintings to Amherst College over the years include "lots I hadn’t ever hung before," he says. Jill Meredith, director of the Mead Art Museum, says the collection is "diverse but has its strengths in the gestural and conceptual works of the '70s and '80s. This is a personal collection, not one based on stars or trends." Jacobson has also donated works to the Hebrew Home for the Aged in Riverdale and to the Guggenheim, Brooklyn and Metropolitan Museums.