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Acquisitions: Acquisitions Archive

The Baker Gift of 20th Century Photography

Charles Sawyer Center

Robert Frank
American (born Switzerland), 1924
American Flag in Brick Wall
1956
gelatin silver print
Gift of The Morris and Beverly Baker Foundation, in memory of Morris D. Baker, a graduate of The University of Michigan School of Architecture, 1952 2000/2.134

In 2000, the University of Michigan Museum of Art received a generous gift of photographs from The Morris and Beverly Baker Foundation in memory of Morris D. Baker. Both graduates of the University of Michigan, Morris (Architecture, 1952) and Beverly Baker (Music, 1955) began to collect art shortly after their marriage. Acquiring both painting and photography, they amassed a large collection of important works, a portion of which was donated to the Museum.

Included in this gift were significant works from the history of photography such as three copies of the influential journal Camera Work, published by Alfred Stieglitz, which included original photogravures. Equally important is one of Robert Frank's images from his seminal series The Americans. Also noteworthy was the donation of a portfolio by the photographer Arnold Newman, which focused on portraits of important artists.

Landscapes and cityscapes also figured prominently in the gift, and the Museum's collection was enhanced by the addition of works by such key photographers as Aaron Siskind, Bernard Descamps, and Ernst Haas. These images not only investigate the majesty and power of the land but also man's attempts to tame and control it.