It was announced earlier this week that the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York City would be receiving Jasper Johns’s iconic sculpture, “Painted Bronze.” The sculpture was recently purchased by Henry R. Kravis and Marie-Josée Kravis, who have promised to donate it to MoMA. Marie-Josée Kravis is the current President of MoMA, and the New York-based couple have been generous supporters of the art world for years.

What is so significant about “Painted Bronze”? Writes Randy Kennnedy for The New York Times, “It’s a small work of art – precisely the size of an old Savarin coffee can jammed with the artist’s paintbrushes – but in the history of postwar art and in the career of Jasper Johns, one of the most important artists of the last half century, it looms large.”

Painted Bronze MoMA

Jasper Johns’s iconic sculpture, “Painted Bronze.” Image: via MoMA.

The artwork was previously housed at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, where it has been a fixture for more than three decades. Created in 1960 by legendary American painter and printmaker Jasper Johns, “Painted Bronze” has been on long-term loan from the artist’s personal collection. Since being purchased by the Kravises for an undisclosed amount, the sculpture will now make appearances at MoMA until it is permanently donated after they are deceased. The eventual donation of “Painted Bronze” to MoMA is what sealed the deal with Johns, according to The New York Times.

According to The Times, “Ann Temkin, the museum’s chief curator of painting and sculpture, said she considered it a landmark acquisition for several reasons, one of them being that the museum’s collection will underscore the work’s importance.”

“I think that MoMA provides a place for this sculpture as an icon in the history of 20th-century art, period,” she commented.

MoMA already possesses one of the most significant collections of paintings, drawings, and prints from Jasper Johns, and this iconic sculpture will only add to the impressiveness of the museum’s in-house collection.