Reynolda House Museum of American Art Acquires Richard Estes’s Hubcap
The painting is part of the museum “Chrome Dreams and Infinite Reflections: American Photorealism exhibition and will be part of the permanent collection
WINSTON-SALEM, NC (JULY 14, 2022)—The Reynolda House Museum of American Art has acquired Hubcap, a work by eminent photorealist artist Richard Estes, the latest addition to the Museum’s permanent collection. One of the founders of Photorealism, Estes helped popularize the movement, in which artists base their paintings on photographs and attempt to capture the gaze of photography in the paint. Estes was an early architect of the style and continues to be a prolific artist today.
Hubcap, painted in 2021, is an outstanding example of the work of Estes and the genre. Due to its size, it fits perfectly into Reynolda’s domestic scale. Hubcap will be available for consultation when Chrome Dreams and Infinite Reflections: American Photorealism opens to the public on July 15, 2022.
“Hubcap represents the best of Estes’ work as it skillfully combines highly reflective surfaces, evident in his early work, with his growing interest in the natural world,” said Allison Slaby, curator of the Reynolda House Museum of American Art. “With Chrome Dreams and Infinite Reflections: American Photorealismwe hope to inspire visitors to rethink how photography and painting intersect through the collection of photorealistic works brought together for the exhibition.
In the shiny, reflective surface of the fender of a new Volkswagen Beetle, Estes captured a scene from the coast of Maine. Banded layers depict a grassy foreground, teal-colored water, dark pines, and cerulean blue skies dotted with white clouds. The painting is strongly vertical and the composition is compressed on a narrow board. The landscape, rather than horizontal, pushes dramatically upwards in an emphatic diagonal. The curves and planes of the parts of the car – the bulging fender, the flat metal door and the circular fuel cap cover – distort the landscape and divide it into different areas of the painting. Estes skillfully represents different textures: the rubber tire, the flat gray hubcap, the shiny metal body and the chrome trim.
“Hubcap it looks like it belongs to Reynolda,” said Allison Perkins, executive director of Reynolda House and Reynolda Gardens. “By acquiring this work, Reynolda reaffirms its commitment to adding exceptional works by leading artists in their fields for the enjoyment of museum visitors for generations to come.”
The acquisition of Hubcap was made possible through a generous contribution from David and Scottie Neill. At the donation, David – who is the outgoing chairman (2020-22) of Reynolda House’s board – said his desire was “to enable Reynolda to collect works of art that spark conversation, learning and curiosity, and which respond to the collection
d’Estes Hubcap will join other photorealistic works in the collection, such as that of Audrey Flack Prime (1978) and Ben Schonzeit Jewels of Englishtown (1971).
Reynolda is located on 170 acres in Winston-Salem, North Carolina and includes Reynolda House Museum of American Art, Reynolda Gardens, and Reynolda Village Shops and Restaurants. The Museum showcases a renowned art collection in an unmistakable historic setting: the original 1917 interiors of the 34,000 square foot home of Katharine and RJ Reynolds. Its collection is a timeline of American art, and featured exhibits are offered in the museum’s Babcock Wing Gallery and in the rooms of the historic house. The gardens serve as a 134-acre outdoor horticultural oasis open to the public year-round, with colorful formal gardens, nature trails and a greenhouse. In the Village, the estate’s historic buildings now house a vibrant mix of boutiques, restaurants, businesses and services. Plan your visit to reynolda.org and use the free Reynolda Revealed mobile app to tour the estate.