The Museum of Art has remarkable holdings of American art from all periods of the 20thand 21th;centuries. The acquisitions policy is grounded in supporting working artists, and collections dating from 1900 include major pieces from important movements such as The Eight, the American Scene, Abstract Expressionism, and Pop art. The Museum additionally has a distinguished group of paintings and sculptures by leading European Modernists such as Salvador Dalí, Wassily Kandinsky, and Pablo Picasso, which were purchased to provide context for the Americans they influenced. The Museum continues to acquire new works in all media.
Edward Wales Root (1884-1956) was a collector of 20th-century American painting and works on paper and bequeathed 227 pieces to the Museum. His first major purchase was Maurice Prendergast’s Landscape with Figures, acquired at the legendary Armory Show in 1913. Root continued to keep current with stylistic developments, buying paintings, drawings and graphic arts by the likes of Charles Demuth, Edward Hopper, Reginald Marsh, Charles Burchfield, Theodoros Stamos and Jackson Pollock.