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George Baselitz donates six inverted portraits to The Met

Famed artist Georg Baselitz and his wife have gifted six portraits to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

The six portraits are all inverted and date back to 1969. All of them depict friends and colleagues of Baselitz from the German art community. These include Michael Werner (gallerist), Karl Rinn (collector), and Martin G. Buttig (journalist). Baselitz created the inverted portraits to challenge the conventional trends of portraiture that was common in those times. The aim of the portraits was to disorient the viewer until he is ready to change is perspective and view the portraits in a new way.

The portraits have been in the couple’s collection for almost six decades. Baselitz said that he was proud and happy that the portraits would now be part of the museum’s historic collection. Max Hollein, director of the museum, said that works of “one of the greatest painters of our time” would be an important addition to the museum’s collection.

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This donation was done to mark the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s 150th anniversary that occurred in 2020. The Met, as it is commonly referred to, was born on April 13, 1870, by the New York State Legislature. The State granted it an Act of Incorporation, with the objective of bringing art and education to common Americans. The museum first opened in 1872. Much of its initial collection came from John Taylor Johnston, who also served as its first president. When the Met closed down during the lockdown last year, it was the first time in over a century that it was closed for more than three consecutive days.