Purvis Young Collection

News Release

Media Contacts:
Elise Durham, Morehouse College, Media Relations Mgr., 404-507-8648
Cathryn Raia, Northern Trust, PR Officer, 312-444-3097

Rubell Family Collection Grants Purvis Young Collection to Morehouse College - Collection to be Displayed at the Atlanta-based College

MIAMI – August 26, 2008 - The Rubell Family Collection announced today that it is donating a collection of Purvis Young paintings to Morehouse College in Atlanta.  Valued at more than $1 million, it is the largest, single collection of art donated to Morehouse.

The collection features 109 paintings by south Florida based artist Purvis Young. His work draws from both his geographical and political environment.  Using discarded utilitarian objects including wood, carpet, cardboard, metal and rubber –Young transforms the materials into objects codified by his personal system of symbols that reflect the social impact of the poverty, drugs, crime and displacement he sees in his surroundings.  Much of the material that he uses comes directly from his Overtown neighborhood, one of the oldest and now most impoverished areas of Miami.

Mark Coetzee, director of the Rubell Family Collection, commented on the donation, “We are proud and honored to be able to facilitate the legacy of one of the great African American artists of our times. By donating the largest permanent installation in the world of his work to Morehouse College, we hope to help preserve the legacy of Purivs Young’s greatest works.”

In 2000, the Rubell Family Collection purchased the contents of Young’s studio containing work circa 1985-1999. The mission behind this major acquisition is to stabilize and catalogue the work, and then donate it to public facilities across the nation.

“One of our primary goals at Morehouse is to teach students to become agents of social change through their chosen vocations,” said Robert Franklin, president of Morehouse.  Purvis Young has used his art as social commentary and a catalyst for justice.  Morehouse is honored and excited to be involved in showcasing and preserving this modern American treasure.”

Northern Trust is sponsoring the installation of the paintings at Morehouse. “Northern Trust strives to further cultural education and awareness through corporate sponsorships and we are committed to supporting the communities we serve”, said Sheldon Anderson, Northern Trust President of Miami Dade. “We are thrilled to be part of this insightful exhibit and we hope viewers will learn more about Purvis Young’s inspiration and the important messages he relayed through his art.”

About Purvis Young:
Purvis Young was born in Miami’s Liberty City in 1943. He became an artist of the street without any formal training, making art generated from obsession and desperation. His first major work was a series of hundreds of painted panels attached to the walls of dilapidated buildings in Overtown, called “Goodbread Alley,” which provided Young with tremendous visibility and media attention. Within two years, he was given a show at what was then the Museum of Modern Art in Miami. As a result, galleries and collectors began to acquire his work. In all his work, Young points to the consequences of racism, to the plight of the underprivileged, to the years of neglect, to the cosmos of despair.

In 1983, Young was invited to paint the interior of the downtown Miami-Dade Public Library. The resulting work, “Visions of the Street,” was an epic panorama of Miami’s black history. Since then he has been commissioned to paint a mural on the outside of another library branch and to create a work for a Metrorail station. 

About The Rubell Family Collection:
The Rubell Family Collection (RFC) is one of the leading collections of contemporary art in the world. Started in 1964, soon after Don and Mera Rubell were married, the collecting group expanded some years later when their children Jason and Jennifer, then quite young, joined their parents in buying and collecting art. Recently Jason’s wife Michelle joined the collecting team alongside her husband. The family’s extensive collection of works dates from the 1960s to the present.

The collection is housed and exhibited in a converted 45,000-square-foot former Drug Enforcement Agency (D.E.A.) confiscated-goods warehouse. Open to the public since 1996, the collection features rotating exhibitions of work by such prominent artists as Maurizio Cattelan, Marlene Dumas, David Hammons, Keith Haring, Damien Hirst,  Anselm Kiefer, Jeff Koons, Kerry James Marshall, Paul McCarthy, Takashi Murakami, Neo Rauch, Charles Ray, Gregor Schneider, Cindy Sherman, Rosemarie Trockel, Luc Tuymans, Kara Walker and Lisa Yuskavage. The museum features 27 galleries, a research library with over 30,000 volumes, a film and lecture theatre, a new media room, a bookstore, a gift shop and a sculpture garden.

About Morehouse College:
Recognized as one of the top feeder schools to the 15 most prominent graduate and professional programs in the nation by The Wall Street Journal, called “One of the best Southeastern colleges” by The Princeton Review and ranked “America¹s Hottest College for Men” by Kaplan-Newsweek, Morehouse College is the nation’s largest, private liberal arts college for men. The College offers 26 majors in three academic divisions: Humanities and Social Sciences, Science and Mathematics, and Business Administration and Economics. Morehouse offers a number of programs and activities to enhance its challenging liberal arts curriculum through the Leadership Center at Morehouse College, Morehouse Research Institute, Andrew Young Center for International Affairs and the Martin Luther King Jr. International Chapel. In  2007, Morehouse launched a new Journalism and Sports concentration, which will one day grow into a major course of study.

Prominent alumni include Martin Luther King Jr., Nobel Peace Prize winner and civil and human rights non-violent leader; Dr. David Satcher, former U.S. Surgeon General and director of the National Center for Primary Care of Morehouse School of Medicine; Shelton ³Spike² Lee, filmmaker and president of 40 Acres & A Mule Productions; Samuel L. Jackson, Academy Award-nominated actor; Maynard H. Jackson, founder of Jackson Securities and the first African American mayor of Atlanta; and Nima A. Warfield, the first African American Rhodes Scholar from a HBCU.

About Northern Trust:
Northern Trust is a leading provider of investment management, asset and fund administration, fiduciary and banking solutions for corporations, institutions and affluent individuals worldwide. Northern Trust, a multibank holding company based in Chicago, has a growing network of 85 offices in 18 U.S. states and has international offices in 15 locations in North America, Europe, the Middle East and the Asia-Pacific region. As of June 30, 2008, Northern Trust had assets under custody of US$4.0 trillion, and assets under investment management of US$751.4 billion. Northern Trust, founded in 1889, has earned distinction as an industry leader in combining exceptional service and expertise with innovative products and technology. For more information, visit http://www.northerntrust.com.