Hirshhorn 'Mouse House' now at home in Naples

This photo shows one view of part of Olga Hirshhorn’s “Mouse House” collection.

This photo shows one view of part of Olga Hirshhorn’s “Mouse House” collection.

The “Mouse House,” Olga Hirshhorn’s collection of intimately-sized works collected to fill her carriage house in Washington, D.C., will become part of the permanent collection of the Patty & Jay Baker Naples of Museum of Art. The Mouse House has been on loan and installed at the museum since 2009.

Among the more than 200 works included in Hirshhorn’s gift are everything from Greek, Chinese and pre-Columbian antiquities to prints, drawings and paintings by important 19th- and 20th-century masters. Many of the 20th-century pieces are personally inscribed by the artist. A 1963 de Kooning is inscribed, “To Olga, Love Bill;” a 1968 Picasso bears the legend, “Pour Olga, son ami Picasso” (For Olga, her friend Picasso); a 1965 Niki de St. Phalle is simply inscribed “To Olga.”

I am extremely grateful for Olga Hirshhorn’s generosity and for her deciding to give this most personal collection to the Patty & Jay Baker Naples Museum of Art.

Frank Verpoorten, director and chief curator of Patty & Jay Baker Naples of Museum of Art

A number of works were gifts from the artists, including minuscule Calders and Giacomettis obtained while socializing with the artists in Paris and on the Riviera, demonstrating a close relationship between Hirshhorn and some of the 20th century’s most important figures.

“Olga Hirshhorn’s Mouse House collection includes pristine works of art that hold a remarkable art historical relevance as well as an important anecdotal quality. It richly illustrates the passionate life of a keen collector with a distinctive personality,” said Director and Chief Curator Frank Verpoorten in a news release on the gift.

“I am extremely grateful for Olga Hirshhorn’s generosity and for her deciding to give this most personal collection to the Patty & Jay Baker Naples Museum of Art.”

The collection includes six Picassos, four de Koonings, five Calders, five Man Rays and single pieces by O’Keeffe and Dalí as well as works by famous 19th-century artists such as James Abbott McNeil Whistler, Antoine-Louis Barye, Honoré Daumier and Auguste Rodin.

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