Opening reception: June 7, 2014: 6:00 p.m.—8:00 p.m.
Washington DC—HEMPHILL is pleased to announce the exhibition Selections from the Dolly Langdon
and Aldus H. Chapin Collection, opening on Saturday, June 7, 2014, with a public reception from 6:00–
8:00pm. The exhibition will remain on view through August 2, 2014.
Art dealers enter many homes that reverberate with the sheen of high-end interior design. These spaces
are stunning. Each article is in position to perform as a prop in the theatrical narrative of the owner’s life.
Then there are homes exploding with energy. No spot or space is left unfilled by art. The furniture, often
beautiful, is present foremost for its function. It is apparent that these homes are purely about the art
and its collectors. Dolly and Aldus Chapin’s home is bursting with such energy; artwork is everywhere.
Their collection is comprised almost entirely of Washington artists acquired gradually over decades. Time
reveals their selections to be prophetic.
To see the Chapin collection as simply an accumulation of many extraordinary objects is to be blind to
the broader impact of their passion. Each acquisition tells a story of a greater purpose beyond personal
ownership. It is clear by the who, what, where, when and why of each purchase that Dolly and Aldus
participated in a community, bolstered artists’ studio operations, and strengthened the cultural life of
One question dominated our discussions with Mrs. Chapin about the handling of the collection: “What
would be the most positive and exciting outcome?” We immediately recognized that most major museums
already have excellent examples of works by the artists in the collection. It became clear that placing
the work into the art market would create great excitement and would be the most efficient means for
furthering each artist’s reputation. So the goal was set to find new homes and new collectors, new places
for the art to live. As we begin this task, inquiries are coming in from across the country and overseas,
evidence of the growing importance of these artists and a testament to the impact upon Washington of
Dolly and Aldus Chapin.
Selections from the Dolly Langdon and Aldus H. Chapin Collection features paintings, sculpture and works
on paper by noted artists Karl Stanley Benjamin, Leon Berkowitz, Michael Clark, Gene Davis, Thomas
Downing, Sam Gilliam, Ed McGowin, John McLaughlin, Howard Mehring, Kenneth Noland, Paul Reed,
Alma Thomas and Anne Truitt, many of whom are affiliated with the Washington Color School movement.