Including pieces by some of the most pivotal artists of the past fifty years, The Kirk Varnedoe Collection celebrates the life and legacy of Kirk Varnedoe through the presentation of paintings, drawings, prints, and photographs created by the contemporary artists he most admired. A native of Savannah, Varnedoe was a distinguished scholar and chief curator of painting and sculpture at the Museum of Modern Art in New York from 1988 to 2001. The works in this collection, which are permanent gifts to the Telfair, were donated by twenty-two artists (or their representatives) in Varnedoe’s memory.
The wide-ranging taste of Kirk Varnedoe is reflected in the assembled pieces, largely produced within the past decade by artists diverse in age, background, and methodology. The Kirk Varnedoe Collection includes exemplary works by artists such as Jasper Johns, Chuck Close, Roy Lichtenstein, Jeff Koons, Robert Rauschenberg, Frank Stella, Richard Serra, and others.