News about donations to museums in 2020-2021
The confinements that happened in 2020 also had the unexpected consequence of postponing donations to museums. Nevertheless, some of the projects have been finalized in 2020 during quieter moments and the deconfinement in France which started in May 2021 has permitted the progress and finalization of the donations that had remained at a standstill. This is how nearly thirty works (prints, illustrated books, original painted ceramics) have been offered by Françoise Marquet-Zao to French and European museums.
The regional scientific committee in Nouvelle Aquitaine (one of the French administrative region) has ratified in February 2020 the donation by Françoise Marquet-Zao of her husband’s five additional prints to the Musée Ernest Cognacq in Saint-Martin-en-Ré, thus completing her previous donation. The prints – etchings and lithographs – dated from 1953 to 1998, have been delivered to the museum during the spring of 2021.
Les petits bateaux (The small boats), 1953, lithograph, 3 colors (19 x 16 cm) on Japan paper (32,5 x 25 cm). Françoise Marquet-Zao donation to the Musée Ernest Cognacq in Saint-Martin-de-Ré. All rights reserved
Sans titre (Untitled), 1998, lithograph, 7 colors (56,4 x 32,1 cm) on Arches paper (65 x 40 cm). Françoise Marquet-Zao donation to the Musée Ernest Cognacq in Saint-Martin-de-Ré. All rights reserved
In March 2018, the British Museum bought at auction at Christie’s Paris, one of Zao Wou-Ki’s lithographs dated 1998 to add to its collections. This acquisition was very much appreciated by Françoise Marquet-Zao who decided to propose to the British Museum a gift of a selection of Zao Wou-Ki’s prints to accompany this purchase.
Sans titre (Untitled), 1998, lithograph, 8 colors (64,6 x 45,4 cm) on Arches paper (75 x 56 cm). British Museum, London (inv. 2018,3004.1). Courtesy British Museum. All rights reserved
After discussing with Yu-ping Luk, Basil Gray Curator: Chinese Paintings, Prints and Central Asian Collection of the Department of Asia, and Stephen Coppel, Assistant Keeper: Head of Modern and Contemporary Prints and Drawings, Department of Prints and Drawings at the British Museum, a choice selection was made of a group of thirteen prints and two illustrated books.
This joint acquisition between the Departments of Asia and Prints and Drawings is an opportunity to evoke Zao Wou-Ki’s rich background as a printmaker using a variety of techniques (lithograph, etching and aquatint) and to show the evolution of his work from the 1950s to the end of the 1990s. The thirteen prints date from 1950 to 1982 and greatly enhance his representation in the collections of the museum.
Sans titre (Untitled), 1969, etching and aquatint, 6 colors (57,7 x 37,5 cm) on Arches paper (76 x 56 cm). Françoise Marquet-Zao donation to the British Museum, London (inv. 2021,3011.9). Courtesy British Museum. All rights reserved
The first illustrated book is Vingt-quatre premiers sonnets de Shakespeare, translated into French by Yves Bonnefoy, published in February 1994 by Les Bibliophiles de France and illustrated with 7 etchings by Zao Wou-Ki. The second book, Le Livre réfléchi (The reflective book) presents two poems by Pierre Lecuire and seven stencils by Zao Wou-Ki, published by Pierre Lecuire in 1987.
Pages from the Vingt-quatre premiers sonnets de Shakespeare (The twenty-four first sonnets of Shakespeare), by Yves Bonnefoy, 1994, etching and aquatint (35 x 28 cm). Françoise Marquet-Zao donation to the British Museum, London (inv. 2021, 3011.15). Courtesy British Museum. All rights reserved
Thanks to his friend, José Luis Sert, the architect, Zao Wou-Ki worked from the middle of the 1970’s in a home-studio in the Island of Ibiza in the Balearics. He very often spends long periods of time in the summer in this house and these long stays will, little by little, bring a different light and new colors in his compositions.
To perpetuate Zao Wou-Ki’s coming to Ibiza, a set of four prints, large formats made in 2008-2009 and based on watercolors painted in Ibiza, have been offered to the Museu d’Art Contemporani d’Ibiza. These prints are now part of the museum collections after their delivery in June 2021.
Sans titre (Ibiza) (Untitled – Ibiza), 2008, pigment printing, 92 x 134 cm. Françoise Marquet-Zao donation to the Museu d’Art Contemporani d’Ibiza. All rights reserved
Sans titre (Talamanca) (Untitled – Talamanca), 2009, pigment printing, 94 x 182 cm. Françoise Marquet- Zao donation to the Museu d’Art Contemporani d’Ibiza. All rights reserved
The donation of three original vases by Zao Wou-Ki to the Musée Cernuschi – Musée des Arts de l’Asie de la Ville de Paris (Museum of Asian Arts of the City of Paris), initiated in 2020, has finally been signed by Françoise Marquet-Zao in June 2021. Lent for the re-opening of the Musée Cernuschi in March 2020, they can finally become part of the French national collections.
This donation enhances the links Zao Wou-Ki had with the Musée Cernuschi, the first museum to present his works in France in 1946 thanks to his director Vadime Elisseeff. It therefore enriches the first donation of 2016, some twenty drawings executed by the artist between 1947 and 2005 (watercolors, sanguines, Indian inks), five painted vases and elements from Zao Wou-Ki’s personal collection of Chinese antiques (eleven ancient bronzes and ceramics).
The three vases offered in 2020 have been painted in Paris around 1954 for the first one and at the Manufacture Nationale de Sèvres in 2008 for the two others. Therefore they perfectly complete the collection of original vases painted by the artists in the 1950’s and 2000’s now part of the collection of the Musée Cernuschi.
Plat bleu (Blue plate), circa 1954, painted on ceramic, diam. 22 cm. Françoise Marquet-Zao donation to the Musée Cernuschi. All rights reserved
Original vase painted by Zao Wou-Ki on an Anne-Marie Fontaine vase, 2008, painting in ‘petit feu’ on Sèvres china, height 26,5 cm. Françoise Marquet-Zao donation to the Musée Cernuschi. All rights reserved