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An Extraordinary Legacy: The Miner S. and Mary Ann Keeler Collection

An Extraordinary Legacy: The Miner S. and Mary Ann Keeler Collection celebrates the transformative gift of art given to GRAM by Miner S. and Mary Ann Keeler between 1976 and 2021. Sixty-five works will fill three galleries, including paintings, sculptures, drawings, and prints.

From GRAM’s inception, its permanent collection has grown primarily through the generosity of individual donors. 

Miner and Mary Ann Keeler had a deep love of modern and contemporary art, and developed relationships with artists, art dealers, and museum curators around the country. The couple commissioned architect Alden B. Dow to design one of the first modern homes in Grand Rapids, shaped by their desire to share their extraordinary art collection with others. 

Throughout their lives, Miner and Mary Ann donated numerous works to GRAM and many of these gifts have become beloved, iconic works in GRAM’s collection.

This exhibition is focused on artists who emerged as artistic leaders between 1940 and 1990, an extraordinarily dynamic period in American and European art. It is impossible to imagine contemporary art without the precedents set by the artists in the Keeler Collection, including Pablo Picasso, Robert Rauschenberg, Louise Nevelson, Alexander Calder, Mark di Suvero, Janet Fish, Andy Warhol, and Alexis Smith.

The Keelers’ artistic legacy is built upon their civic and institutional involvement, as well as their personal art collecting. Miner and Mary Ann Keeler had the vision to make art accessible to all in Grand Rapids and were pivotal supporters of downtown revitalization and many local cultural organizations. The Keelers were central to bringing Alexander Calder’s sculpture, La Grande Vitesse, to downtown Grand Rapids in 1969, as well as the kinetic sculpture Motu Viget, by Mark di Suvero in 1977, and Alexis Smith’s The Grand to DeVos Hall in 1983.

This exhibition is comprised of the 65 works of art given to GRAM by Miner S. and Mary Ann Keeler and is divided into three sections. Sculpture and Sculptors’ Works on Paper explores the significance of sculpture and sculptors in the Keeler’s lives and advocacy. European Modern Masters shares works that illuminate important art historical movements including Fauvism, Cubism, Surrealism, and Expressionism. American Art: From Representation to Abstraction (and Back Again) spans the years 1921 to 1995, focusing on the dynamic tension between realism and abstraction in American art. 

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