The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts has acquired more than 40 works, including an enormous 1870 oil by the Hudson River School painter David Johnson, and a marble sculpture, white as a puffball, by Harriet Hosmer, considered the preeminent American female neoclassical sculptor of the 19th century.
In addition, PAFA officials announced Monday, the museum has added to its holdings of more recent art, acquiring pieces by Theodore Harris, Emil Lukas, and Brian Tolle, and a large collection of works made from 1978 to 2010 by academy alumna Anne Minich.
"We're excited," said David R. Brigham, academy president and chief executive. "They're wonderful objects."
Almost all the works were purchased, Brigham said. The cache of Minich works - found-object, mixed-media, and works on paper - were a partial purchase and gift.
Brigham said the purchases were funded by about $1.1 million from the institution's acquisition funds and endowments. He would not discuss the price of any individual artwork.
The donation of works by Karl Wirsum, Natalie Frank, Linda Kramer, and Mia Rosenthal was also announced.
Academy officials have noted in the past that they were focused on building up the institution's holdings of Hudson River School artists, contemporary art, and works by women and African Americans. Brigham reiterated that point Monday.
The Johnson painting, The Hudson River from Fort Montgomery, measures more than 3 by 5 feet and presents a grand landscape view looking out toward the river, where sailboats and a steamer ply the waters. In the foreground are sheep and two leisurely travelers chatting on a path while a dog patiently waits.
Brigham and Anna Marley, academy curator of historical American art, said the painting, now on view, is in very fine shape.
"Johnson is only known to have painted six paintings at this scale," added Marley.
The Hosmer sculpture, Puck on a Toadstool (1856), fills a significant hole in the collection, Marley said.
"We had no works by her in PAFA's collection," Marley said. "Given that PAFA has one of the best collections of American neoclassical marble sculpture in the country, this was a glaring oversight. Our acquisition of Puck really fleshes out and diversifies our collection."
The Hosmer sculpture, a small work about 21/2 feet high - perfectly scaled to the prosperous Victorian parlor - features a winged Puck poised atop a mushroom cap and about to pitch a large beetle. It has also been placed on view in the galleries.
The more recent works include Harris' mixed-media collages Vetoed Dreams (1995) and Cotton, Blood for Sonia Sanchez (2002); Lukas' threaded work Contracting Hum (2015); Tolle's mixed-media sculpture No. 1 (First Inaugural Address) (2012); and the Minich collection.