We note with sadness the passing of Janice (Jenny) Van Horne Greenberg, the widow of the late art critic Clement Greenberg, whose vast art collection continues to illuminate the walls of the Museum. A noted playwright and magazine publisher, Mrs. Greenberg edited two posthumous volumes of her husband’s writing and wrote a memoir of their marriage that was published in 2012.
Clement Greenberg was a prestigious art critic of American Modern Art, as well as a collector who dominated New York’s art scene in the 1940s and early ‘50s. He was an active promoter of the Abstract Expressionist movement and one of the first published critics to praise the artist, Jackson Pollock. Between the 1960s and 1970s, Mr. Greenberg was well known for his dissident viewpoints about the Pop, Minimalism, and Conceptualism art movements. Even though he was feared for his impeccable writing style and fierce personality, he had many loyal followers who admired him for his clear vision. Clement Greenberg passed away in 1994, but his treasured collection and inspiring criticism of art kept his memory alive.
From its earliest days, the Museum has closely followed and supported contemporary art. In 2000, the Museum was honored to acquire, with the support of Tom and Gretchen Holce, the Clement Greenberg Collection of 159 paintings, prints, drawings, and sculptures of the most influential American artists of the mid-20th century. Today, the Clement Greenberg Collection continues to educate visitors about contemporary art, and bring to life the prominent works of America’s contemporary masters. We honor Jenny Van Horne Greenberg for choosing the Portland Art Museum as the home of Clement Greenberg’s collection, and we treasure the relationship sustained with her.
The Greenberg Collection is one of the most popular galleries in the Jubitz Center for Modern and Contemporary Art. If you haven’t visited recently, we hope you’ll take this opportunity to do so. The Collection can also be viewed online.