The Anderson Collection at the Chrysler Museum
Alyssa Branch | Contributing Writer
For over 30 years, Lisa and Dudley Anderson have traveled across seven countries and collected a variety of pieces from 40 different artists. Now, they have promised nearly 100 of those works to the Chrysler Museum. After visiting numerous other museums, they decided their final home for their extensive collection. “We wanted to make sure the pieces will have a good home,” the couple said to The Virginian Pilot.
The Andersons have participated in many museum boards across the United States and Europe. Their collection consists of a great deal of glass work, and their donation is primarily by the same Czechoslovakian artists. The couple previously donated a few pieces from their collection to the Chrysler as well.
Of the few pieces from the collection currently on display, “Urmba 1” is the outcast. This piece is done by a Colombian artist, Olga de Amaral, with inspiration from her native culture — using textiles, ancient architecture, basketry, gold artifacts and the natural landscape to create this golden fabric.
Due to the size of kilns, large-scale glass casting proves to be a difficult challenge for artists, allowing for even more appreciation for these grand sculptures. “3V Victory Column” and “Astronomical Calendar Sphere” are clear cast glass sculptures with intricate designs and effects. These pieces are both by the Czechoslovakian artists Libensky and Brychtová.
“Green Eye of the Pyramid” is an immense emerald pyramid bent throughout the mirror to create the formation of an eye-shaped figure in the center. The cast glass sculpture closely resembles the Eye of Providence, which symbolizes the eye of God watching over humanity. It also can have a political aspect to it, leaning toward the American currency and the origins of the eye on the dollar bill.
The artists of these cast glass works are Stanislav Libensky and Jaroslava Brychtovà, a married couple from Czechoslovakia. The couple met in 1954 and married in 1963, working together up until Libensky’s death in 2002. Libensky would paint and sketch while Brychtovà would create clay sculptures from these designs. The couple are both highly educated artists who studied at various Czech art schools. Brychtovà has still produced castings since Libensky’s death.
47 pieces from the Andersons’ collection are by Libensky and Brychtovà, which will extensively expand the museum’s glass art collection. Although it was not provided through the Andersons’ donation, “Red Head” is another piece displayed in the Chrysler Museum by these artists. Purchased by the museum in 1995, this piece is cast, ground and polished glass made in 1990.
This is the largest donation the Chrysler Museum has received since 1971. On Sept. 27th, the Andersons will be honored for their contribution at the Chrysler Museum’s Major Donor Dinner. The works will likely be slowly integrated into the museum’s display. Monumental and extraordinary pieces to be admired, only a few pieces from the collection are available on display as of right now.