Past News at Kluge-Ruhe

Kluge exhibit opens August 22 • Monday August 10, 2009

John Kluge

A new exhibit, What Will Last Beyond Today: John W. Kluge’s Collection of Australian Aboriginal Art, opens Saturday, August 22 and runs through December 20 at the Kluge-Ruhe Collection. The opening reception will be held Friday, August 28, from 5:30 – 7:30 pm.

John Kluge began collecting Aboriginal art in 1988 inspired by the Dreamings exhibition at the Asia Society Galleries in New York. As a collector, Kluge preferred to focus on artists who were not highly visible, either early-career artists or those working in less recognized genres. When he first saw Aboriginal art it was not well known internationally. Through several notable commissions from community art centers like Bula’bula Arts in Ramingining and Injalak Arts and Crafts in Oenpelli, Kluge raised awareness and appreciation of Aboriginal art. Today, Australian Aboriginal art is represented in major museums around the world and has achieved recognition as fine contemporary art.

The exhibit follows Kluge’s collecting history, including the acquisition of the Ruhe Collection from the estate of University of Kansas professor Ed Ruhe in 1993. As a collector, Kluge sought out a broad range of styles of Aboriginal art – both traditional forms and artistic innovations. John Kluge established the Kluge-Ruhe Collection at the University of Virginia in 1997. He and his wife, Tussi, gave an additional 16 early western desert paintings to U.Va. in 2008.

The exhibit features a film, produced by Tussi Kluge, which depicts Kluge’s formative years and business success as the founder of Metromedia Corporation, his interest in Aboriginal art and his legacy of philanthropy.