Watercolor, pencil, and graphite on paper, 27 1/2 x 41 in. Artwork © Jasper Johns / Licensed by VAGA at Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Photo by Kris Graves; courtesy The Jewish Museum.

The Jewish Museum in New York City has received a major gift from The Barnett and Annalee Newman Foundation. The gift includes artworks from Barnett and Annalee Newman’s personal collection (works by Newman himself, as well as by Jasper Johns, Claes Oldenburg, Adolph Gottlieb, Camille Pissarro, Robert Rauschenberg, and others) and works created by artists who were recipients of the Barnett and Annalee Newman Award (artists such as Mark Bradford, Joan Jonas, Kerry James Marshall, Julie Mehretu, Richard Serra, Sarah Sze, Terry Winters, and others).

Barnett Newman (1905-1970) was a trailblazing artist who bridged postwar abstraction and 1960s Minimalism. Newman’s life and identity were influenced by his experience as the son of Jewish-Polish immigrants. The artist considered the creation of a painting to be an almost sacred act, and believed that the absolute cannot be represented by an image.

The gift also includes $10 million, for the endowment of the Museum’s first curatorial position dedicated to contemporary art; for the care and exhibition of the collection; and a promised gift for future institutional use.