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Staff Report

NEW YORK, 22 September 2005The Museum of Modern Art has acquired La Branche de Prunier, fond ocre, 1948 (Plum Blossoms, Ochre Background), a major painting by Henri Matisse (French, 1869-1954), Museum Director Glenn D. Lowry announced earlier this month. The work is a promised and fractional gift from Marie-Josée and Henry R. Kravis; Mrs. Kravis is a longtime Museum Trustee who was appointed President of the Museum’s Board in June.

Henri Matisse
French, 1869-1954
Branche de Prunier, fond ocre, 1948
Oil on Canvas
45 3/4 x 35" (116 x 89 cm)
Fractional and promised gift of Marie-Josée and Henry R. Kravis
© 2005 Succession H. Matisse, Paris / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Photo courtesy of Museum of Modern Art

Plum Blossoms, Ochre Background is on view in MoMA’s fifth-floor galleries.  It was last publicly exhibited in the 1970 Matisse retrospective at the Grand Palais, Paris. Among the last of Matisse’s major accomplishments as a painter, the work was created as one in a series of seven large paintings made in 1947 and 1948 depicting the interior of the artist’s working space, in Vence, in southern France. After completing the Vence interiors, Matisse made only two unfinished paintings; making paper cut-outs was his main artistic activity in his last years. The remaining six works in the Vence interiors series are held by public collections or foundations.

The Museum of Modern Art


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