Take a Tour of Park West Museum in Southfield, Michigan


Park West Gallery has been acquiring and archiving
important works by living and historical artists since its founding in 1969. Many of these works are available for viewing
at Michigan’s free-to-the-public Park West Museum, located just outside of Detroit. In 2017, the museum was completely renovated
and expanded, featuring more artwork than ever from some of the finest artists in history. Entering the museum, guests are greeted by
Park West’s Peter Max collection, an incredible selection of paintings from the artist’s
“50 Years of Cosmic Dreaming” exhibition, which was showcased at the Tampa Museum of
Art in 2016. The artwork on display from the world-famous
Pop artist ranges from psychedelic to Expressionist and everywhere in between. The collection’s complexity is a testament
to the over 40-year relationship between Peter Max and Park West Gallery. Next, guests encounter one of the greatest
artists in modern history—Pablo Picasso. The museum has an unrivaled collection of
breathtaking ceramics created by the master, consisting of over 100 works, arguably the
largest Picasso ceramic collection anywhere on the planet. The Picasso galleries also feature an impressive
selection of original linocuts, etchings, and lithographs from different eras of Picasso’s
career. The museum then transitions away from the
20th century and highlights classical works from some of Europe’s greatest masters. The Albrecht Dürer collection showcases the
legendary printmaker’s virtuosity and creative range with woodcuts and engravings created
during the 16th century. His mastery in printmaking remains unrivaled
over 500 years later. In the Rembrandt gallery, one can view a selection
of etchings from the 17th-century Dutch master featuring some of his best-known subjects,
including religious scenes, landscapes, and even self-portraits. Visitors to the Park West Museum will be pleasantly
surprised by the substantial collection of medieval illuminated manuscripts on display,
some of which can be traced back to being owned by Catherine de Medici, a descendant
of the Medici family, eventual Queen of France, and patron of the arts. Moving forward in history, patrons can next
appreciate the museum’s constantly evolving Renoir collection, which includes original
oil paintings, drawings, and rare graphic works by the Impressionist master. One highlight is a rare landscape painted
in 1917, just two years before Renoir’s passing. In the same gallery, guests will encounter
the stirring etchings of Spain’s own Francisco Goya. The museum currently features selections from
three of Goya’s most noteworthy etching series—Los Disparates, Los Caprichos, and
the Disasters of War. Goya’s acclaimed fantasy-filled compositions
inspired the likes of Salvador Dalí over a century later. Nearby, one can browse through original pencil
sketches taken from the personal sketchbooks of the notorious French master Toulouse-Lautrec. These early illustrations shed light on the
career of the noted Post-Impressionist who later transformed the medium of lithography
and inspired generations of artists to come. The museum next firmly transitions back to
the 20th century with the unforgettable artwork of Marc Chagall, including a collection of
the artist’s crucifixion paintings as well as a selection of works from his lithographic
masterpiece, Daphnis and Chloe. Park West was one of the first galleries in
the United States to carry the works of famed 20th-century Spanish Surrealist Joan Miró. The Park West Museum has collected a large
selection of Miró’s inventive graphic works, including etchings made with carborundum,
a medium that Miró revolutionized. After browsing the Miró collection, guests
enter the museum’s multi-room gallery devoted to the eye-popping, kinetic works of Israeli
legend Yaacov Agam. Park West has been working with Agam for over
40 years, and the museum’s collection ranges from 1953 to current, literally encompassing
Agam’s entire career as a professional artist. Patrons can experience Agam’s preliminary
studies for some of his monumental sculptural installations, works from the artist’s retrospective
at the Guggenheim, original paintings, monotypes, and even early examples of his trademark “Agamographs.” These are all anchored by a grand-scale kinetic
sculpture in the center of the gallery. As one’s tour through the museum ends, they
find themselves treated to a gallery that collects all 100 engravings Surrealist icon
Salvador Dalí created to illustrate Dante’s epic poem “The Divine Comedy.” Park West has been collecting and archiving
Salvador Dalí’s works since he still was alive and creating, and his “Divine Comedy”
suite shows off his talent at its height. New acquisitions are regularly added to the
collections, so one can always expect to see pleasant surprises between visits to Park
West Museum. Funded by the charitable Park West Foundation,
Park West Museum is devoted to promoting arts education and ensuring that the arts remain
accessible to everyone.

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