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Assembled in honor of the late Savannah native, scholar and MoMA curator Kirk Varnedoe (1946-2003), the Kirk Varnedoe Collection contains some of the finest examples of contemporary art in the Telfair’s permanent collection. This remarkable display includes pieces by some of the most pivotal artists of the past fifty years.

The Varnedoe Collection celebrates the life and legacy of Kirk Varnedoe through the presentation of works on paper created by the contemporary artists he most admired. Varnedoe served as a distinguished scholar and chief curator of painting and sculpture at the Museum of Modern Art in New York between 1988 and 2001. The works in this collection, which are permanent gifts to the Telfair, were donated by twenty-two artists (or their representatives) in Varnedoe’s memory.

The wide-ranging taste of Kirk Varnedoe is reflected in the assembled pieces, largely produced during the first decade of the twenty-first century by artists diverse in age, background and methodology. The Varnedoe Collection includes exemplary works by artists such as Jasper Johns, Chuck Close, Roy Lichtenstein, Jeff Koons, Robert Rauschenberg, Frank Stella, Kiki Smith, Richard Serra, Richard Avedon, Elizabeth Murray and many others.


Brigitte Lacombe (French, b. 1950); Kirk Varnedoe, 1999; Silver gelatin print; 24 x 20 inches; Telfair Museum of Art; Gift of Brigitte Lacombe, 2006.16.

Frank Stella (American, b. 1936); Bene come il sale, 1989; Etching, aquatint, and relief print on handmade paper; 75 . x 59 inches; Telfair Museum of Art; Gift of the artist, 2006.25.

Roy Lichtenstein (American, 1923-1997); Still Life with Picasso, 1973; Screenprint on Arches 88 paper; 30 x 22 inches; Telfair Museum of Art; Gift of Dorothy Lichtenstein, 2006.17.1.

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