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Museum of Fine Arts makes a major addition to its photography holdings

Coltrane and Elvin Roy Rudolph DeCarava (American, 1919–2009) 1960 Photograph, gelatin silver print *The Howard Greenberg Collection—Museum purchase with funds donated by the Phillip Leonian and Edith Rosenbaum Leonian Charitable Trust *Courtesy, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston 28Namesmfa
Courtesy, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
Coltrane and Elvin Roy Rudolph DeCarava (American, 1919–2009), 1960 Photograph, gelatin silver print. The Howard Greenberg Collection—Museum purchase with funds donated by the Phillip Leonian and Edith Rosenbaum Leonian Charitable Trust

The Museum of Fine Arts announced Thursday a major addition to its photographic holdings: the Howard Greenberg Collection. Greenberg is a longtime New York gallery owner. The acquisition, which was purchased for an undisclosed sum, comprises 447 photographs from 191 artists. Among them are 80 previously unrepresented at the MFA, including Jacob Riis, Frances Benjamin Johnston, and Inge Morath. Overall, the photographers are a who’s who of the medium: André Kertész, Walker Evans, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Lewis Hine, Dorothea Lange, Robert Frank, and Diane Arbus, among them.

“This acquistion is going to be truly transformational for us,” Anne Havinga said in a telephone interview. Havinga is the museum’s Estrellita and Yousuf Karsh chair, department of photography. “There are so many important photographs in this collection — and really extraordinary prints of the photographs.”

The MFA has some 15,000 photographs in its holdings, so the new acquisition increases that number by nearly 3 percent. An exhibition drawn from the Greenberg Collection is scheduled to open at the MFA in August. MARK FEENEY

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