Past Exhibitions

Anthony Quinn's Eye: A Lifetime of Creating and Collecting Art

April 17 – June 19, 2005

Newport Art Museum
Newport, RI

Anthony Quinn working. Photo by Lionelli Fabbri. Courtesy of the Anthony Quinn Collection.

While most of us know the legendary Anthony Quinn (1915 – 2001) as an actor and larger than life celebrity, he considered himself at core, an artist. To his huge output of sculpture, painting and drawing he brought a driving, creative spirit, a love of color, texture, form and line, and above all, a good eye. Anthony Quinn's Eye: A Lifetime of Creating and Collecting Art is the lavish book designed by Malcolm Grear that celebrates Quinn's legacy. Fortunately for us all, the book comes to life this spring when a selection of the artist's work and the collection that inspired him will be shown at the Newport Art Museum.

Quinn, with his wife Katherine, and their baby daughter Antonia (soon to be joined by a son, Ryan) moved to Bristol, RI, in 1997, where they found their ideal home surrounded by sea and forest. The compound contained more than enough space for studios and storage for Quinn's many large sculptures and paintings. The objects that he collected over a lifetime were spectacularly displayed in the house.

The exhibition at the Newport Art Museum gives testimony to Anthony Quinn's "eye" and his talent. While he purported to follow no style, much of his sculpture — in bronze, wood and stone — is characterized by elongated, almost mannerist exaggerations of form, especially the female figure. His brilliant expressionist canvases confront such political events as the Mexican Revolution, while smaller fauvist works are unabashedly joyful. The exuberance so characteristic of Quinn's role in Zorba the Greek carried over in his artistic embrace of other cultures: he collected Pre-Columbian sculpture, African masks, Russian icons, Chinese rocks, decorative eggs from around the world, European paintings and prints, and Tibetan Thanka paintings — anything that moved him spiritually and visually. Combining art history, modern art, cultural diversity and Hollywood glamour, Anthony Quinn's Eye promises to be an educational and visual adventure for all.

Nancy Whipple Grinnell, Curator