American Museum of Ceramic Art opens 'From a Gift to a Collection: Igal & Diane Silber'

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American Museum of Ceramic Art opens 'From a Gift to a Collection: Igal & Diane Silber'
David Gilhooly, Ice Cream Cone, 1978.

POMONA, CA.- From a Gift to a Collection: Igal & Diane Silber, on view at the American Museum of Ceramic Art, celebrates AMOCA’s recent acquisition of more than 300 ceramic works collected by Igal and Diane Silber. The exhibition presents a selection of 100 works from this unparalleled collection, representing artists from Europe, the Middle East, the Pacific Rim, and North America.

Igal (1936-2021) and Diane (1944- ) Silber began collecting art early in their marriage. Initially they were most attracted to contemporary figurative painting and sculpture. Then, in the late 1970s, the Silbers received the gift of a green crater glazed bowl by Otto and Gertrud Natzler from their friends, Robert Logan and Robert Cugno. The gift of this bowl, clearly a serious work of art, invited the Silbers to consider ceramics as an art form worthy of further study and pursuit. While at first the Silbers focused their ceramics collection on the vessel form, their interests gradually shifted to include figurative and sculptural works as well.

The Silbers added to their collection not by choosing pieces by famous artists, or by seeking to round out missing elements. Instead, Diane shares, “each piece was selected because of its impact on us.” While building a significant contemporary ceramic collection may not have been the Silbers’s initial goal, it was an endeavor that brought the couple joy and allowed them to learn about and meet countless fascinating international artists. As members of the International Academy of Ceramics (IAC), the Silbers traveled the world, befriended many artists, and continued to collect varied and compelling pieces. Collecting, both an appreciation of creativity and a creative process in itself, turned out to be an enriching gift for Silbers throughout their lives together.

Exhibition Overview

Over 90 artists, hailing from South Korea, New Zealand, Japan, the United States, Canada, Turkey, Israel, Switzerland, Sweden, Spain, Poland, the Netherlands. Hungary, Germany, England, Denmark, the Czech Republic, Belgium, and Austria have work included in From a Gift to a Collection: Igal and Diane Silber.

Approximately 60% of the work shown has origins beyond North America, and about two-thirds of the objects on view in From a Gift to a Collection relate to functional forms and vessels; the other third is figurative, sculptural, or narrative.

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