Skip to Content

Contemporary Art

Loosely defined as the art of today or the art of our lifetime, the term “contemporary art” is usually used more specifically to describe artworks created since the 1980s or 1990s. For collection purposes, the Frye Art Museum currently delineates the scope as 1990 to the present. In the more general sense, the Frye has collected and exhibited contemporary—or contemporaneous—art since its opening in 1952. This commitment to the art and culture of the present was catalyzed by Museum founders Charles and Emma Frye, who amassed a collection of paintings made within their own lifetimes and often purchased works directly from living artists. Over the last seven decades, directors of the Museum have each brought their own interests and interpretations to bear on the Frye’s engagement with contemporary art and thereby shaped a distinctive collection. Prior to the tenure of Elsa “Midge” Bowman (Director, 2004–09), and often counter to dominant trends in art of the time, the Frye’s leadership focused exclusively on exhibiting and collecting representational art, citing Charles and Emma Frye’s preferences for figurative and landscape painting. Under Bowman’s direction, the exhibitions program at the Frye expanded into areas like video art and performance that questioned and upended the definition of representational art. In 2008, the Museum’s mission was revised to embrace art in its myriad forms. The Frye’s contemporary art collection has grown significantly since that time, reflecting the diversity of the institution’s engagement with local, national, and international artists working today.

Click on a column heading to sort the list.

Title Artist Medium Date
Blue-Eyed Susan   Wyeth, Andrew   Pencil on paper  1992 
Curse You, Peter Pan...!   Horsey, David   Graphite, pen, and ink on illustration board  1998 
David Horsey's Expanding Universe   Horsey, David   Graphite, pen, ink and watercolor on illustration board  2004 
Du jaroj da seksa perforto kontrau virinaj Egiptaj manifestaciantoj, kaj jam ni portas trancilojn en la stratoj...   Lesperance, Ellen   Gouache and graphite on tea-stained paper  2014 
Flying Female #4   Bergt, Michael   Colored pencil and gouache on paper  1998 
Instead of Going Forward, Going Back   Schwartz, Robert   Gouache on paper  1994 
Seated Figure   Middleman, Raoul F.   Charcoal and conté crayon on paper  1999 
Sketch for The Pig Went Down to the Harbor and Wept #3   Woodring, Jim   Pencil and acrylic ink on paper  2016 
Sketch of Mrs. Greathouse   Gish, Del   Charcoal on paper  2004 
The Pig Went Down to the Harbor and Wept #6   Woodring, Jim   Acrylic ink on paper  2016 
Untitled   Glantzman, Judith   Pencil on paper  2002 
Via del Pantheon   Bailey, William H.   Pencil on paper  1997 
World of Wonders   Fisher, Stephen   Graphite on paper  1991 


Your current search criteria is: Portfolio is "Contemporary Art" and [Objects]Object Type is "Drawing".

View current selection of records as:
CDWA Lite XML LIDO XML VRA Core 4 MODS XML Objects JSON