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Oakland Museum's spectacular new collection


Courtesy of Oakland Museum of California

Ruth and Ted Nash created a legacy that the Oakland Museum of California will treasure for years.

The Belvedere art collectors, who both passed away in recent years, wrote into their will a no-strings-attached gift of 275 works, which transferred to the museum after Ruth Nash’s death in April. The collection focuses on late 20th-century California art, and includes pieces by world-renowned East Bay artists such as Peter Voulkos, Robert Arneson, and Viola Frey. The Nashes decided to give the collection to the Oakland Museum in part because of a 30-year friendship between Ruth Nash and Phil Linhares, the museum’s chief curator of art.

“This collection is probably the most valuable gift this museum has ever received,” says Linhares. “If we had received only the Peter Voulkos sculpture Solano [pictured], that alone would have put me on cloud nine.”

The museum is whetting the appetites of East Bay art lovers with a 21-work exhibition that runs through December 30.
The art and history galleries will shut down for a renovation in 2008, and an exhibition of the Nash collection will take place after they reopen in fall 2009. www.museumca.org.

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