Crystal Bridges acquires rarely-seen Mark Rothko painting

No. 210/No. 211 (Orange) by Mark Rothko


Back in August, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art announced an acquisition of a work by a “major mid-century American artist” as part of its upcoming See the Light: The Luminist Tradition in American Art exhibit. The piece, acquired through a private sale, was set to be unveiled at a members-only event on Oct. 12 at the museum.

The news, however, is out a little earlier than expected.

A press release sent out Tuesday indicates the work is the 1960 Mark Rothko color field painting “No. 210/No. 211 (Orange),” a piece that has only been exhibited twice and has been in a private Swiss collection since the mid-1960s.

“This is a masterful painting,” said Crystal Bridges Executive Director Don Bacigalupi in the release. “The palette of colors is remarkably vibrant and intense. The work absolutely radiates and draws you into it. It’s a superb example of Rothko’s mature period and we are very excited to add it to Crystal Bridges collection.”

The purchase price of the painting has not been disclosed, but according to a recent Wall Street Journal article, experts estimated it cost the museum around $25 million.

WSJ also reports that Crystal Bridges has acquired an early Dale Chihuly glass sculpture, as well as 466 prints and drawings by American artists including Edward Hopper, Charles Sheeler, and James Abbot MacNeill Whistler.

See the Light debuts Oct. 13 at Crystal Bridges, and will be on view through Jan. 28.