Works from the Celia Ascher donation
Louisiana has received eight unique works by Picasso, Miró, Kandinsky, Pollock, Dubuffet, Kiefer and Kelly. They form part of an extraordinary donation, valued at more than 100 million DKK, from the deceased Celia Ascher, New York.
Celia Ascher, the former director of The Riklis-McCrory Collection in New York, has been one of Louisiana's faithful friends and generous supporters since 1977. To mark the receipt of the final part of the donation from The Joseph and Celia Ascher Collection, which comprises a total of 200 works, a selection of 50 works are mounted in The Asger Jorn Gallery of the North Wing.
Naturally, this selection comprises the eight works which, until Celia Ascher’s passing last year, aged 93, she had kept in her private home in New York. They were her personal favorites.
A LIFE IN ART
Celia Ascher was born into a Jewish family in Berlin in 1920 and was thus the child of a European century marked by revolution, war and extermination camps – but at the same time by democratization and great technological advances. She succeeded in escaping to England, and after the war she moved with her husband Joseph to New York.
In New York, the new international centre of art, Celia Ascher began her work of collecting and disseminating modern art – Constructivist art in particular. This persistent focus ranged from the Russians in the first decades of the century over currents in central and western Europe before and after the war, all the way to the Minimalist movements of the 1960s.
As curator of The Riklis Collection of McCrory Corporation and as a private collector, she became very important to Louisiana. With a substantial donation from The Riklis Collection of McCrory Corporation in 1986 and donations from Celia Ascher’s private collection in subsequent years, Louisiana gained not only a significant historical representation of important currents in the art of the 20th century, but also strong links with the American art world.
Celia Ascher was not rich by American standards, but her collection – created with the rooms of her Upper East Side apartment rather than the scale of the museum in mind – is impressive and eye-opening. With the arrival of the last eight works - her personal favourites - after her death in 2014 The Joseph and Celia Ascher Collection’s donation of a total of 200 works to Louisiana has been completed.