Berger Collection

Three Young Girls

English Artist
Three Young Girls
About 1620
Oil paint on panel
Promised Gift of the Berger Collection Educational Fund, TL-18018

Portrait of a Lady

Sir Thomas Lawrence
English, 1769–1830
Portrait of a Lady
Early 1790s
Oil paint on paper mounted on canvas
Promised Gift of the Berger Collection Educational Fund, TL-19046

Nuneham

Edward Lear
English, 1812–1888
Nuneham
1860
Oil paint on canvas
Gift of the Berger Collection Educational Fund, 2018.22

Henry VIII

English Artist
Henry VIII
About 1513
Oil paint on panel, housed in its original frame
Promised Gift of the Berger Collection Educational Fund, TL-17964

Dorothy, Lady Dacre

Sir Anthony van Dyck
Flemish, 1599–1641
Dorothy, Lady Dacre
About 1633
Oil paint on canvas
Promised Gift of the Berger Collection Educational Fund, TL-18887

Self-Portrait

George Richmond
English, 1809–1896
Self-Portrait
About 1840
Oil paint on canvas
Gift of the Berger Collection Educational Fund, 2018.27

Berger Collection

The Berger Collection is on tour! Treasures of British Art: The Berger Collection will be on view at the Joslyn Art Museum in Omaha, Nebraska, June 2 – September 9, 2018. The exhibition will be on view at the DAM March 3 – October 20, 2019.

The Berger Collection at the Denver Art Museum comprises 65 British artworks gifted to the museum by the Berger Collection Educational Trust (BCET), owner of the collection since 1999. The paintings are part of the collection formed in the mid-1990s by the late William M. B. Berger and his wife Bernadette Joan Johnson Berger and housed at the Denver Art Museum. The BCET gift is the largest gift of European old masters to the DAM since the museum received the Kress Collection in the 1950s. It enriches the museum’s painting and sculpture collection, currently strong in artwork from the early Italian Renaissance and 19th-century France.

Featured works in the Berger Collection gift include a 14th-century Crucifixion, a rare survivor of the destruction of religious paintings during the reign of Henry VIII; portraits by 17th-century masters Sir Anthony van Dyck and Sir Peter Lely; a Neoclassical work referencing Roman history by Royal Academy founder Angelica Kauffman; landscapes by the British School’s preeminent artists, among them Thomas Gainsborough, John Constable, and Edward Lear; and superb paintings by Sir Thomas Lawrence, George Stubbs, Benjamin West, and John Singer Sargent.

About the Founders

William Merriam Bart Berger (1925-1999) was born in Denver, a fourth-generation Coloradan. Following family tradition, he built a career in finance, for which he was nationally recognized. Bernadette Joan Johnson Berger (1940-2015), also a Denver native, grew up in western Colorado and owned farms in Kansas She raised three daughters and worked as a securities trader and stockbroker. Long-time collectors and art patrons, they chose to collect British art because of a shared love of British culture nurtured through ancestral and professional connections. The Bergers were passionate about art's potential to educate and saw their collection as a resource for adults and children alike. As they observed, "We have always believed that art, as well as music, poetry, and literature, refreshes and enriches our lives." By making their collection accessible, the Bergers hoped to foster a deeper understanding of art and history and to provide viewers with new insights into the world and themselves.

BCET

The Berger Collection Educational Trust (BCET) was created in 1999 by the late William M. B. Berger, founder with his wife Bernadette Joan Johnson Berger of the Berger Collection of British art. The Trust was established to sponsor educational activities related to the Berger Collection and to the people, culture, and history the artworks portray. Since 1996 the collection has been administered by the Denver Art Museum, where a selection of works has been on display on a rotating basis. Artworks from the collection have been on view in institutions across America and abroad, including the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, California; the Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, Connecticut; the British Library, National Portrait Gallery, and Tate Britain, London; and the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid.

Current Trustees are Mr. Arthur Lipper III, chairman; Ms. Katherine M. B. Berger, Mr. David S. Hayes, Mrs. Cynthia L. Hayes, Mr. Daniel O’Leary, Dr. Timothy J. Standring, and Dr. John H. Wilson.

Berger Prize

The William M. B. Berger Prize for British Art History

In 2001 the Berger Collection Educational Trust and The British Art Journal established a prize for excellence in the field of British art history, in honor of the late William M. B. Berger. The prize was created to recognize that some of the very finest work in art history is being carried out in the field of British art, and that much of it is being published by The British Art Journal. Since its inception, the Berger Prize has come to be recognized as the most prestigious in the field.

Award

The prize of £5,000 is awarded annually by The British Art Journal in association with the Berger Collection Educational Trust of Denver, Colorado.

Criteria

The Berger Prize is awarded annually to an outstanding book, exhibition, or exhibition catalogue (in any language) on the subject of British art history appearing during the preceding calendar year (January–December).

Assessors

A panel of no fewer than five and no more than seven assessors selects the recipient. The assessors committee includes the editor of The British Art Journal (Mr. Robin Simon), and is chaired by Dr. Timothy J. Standring, Gates Family Foundation Curator, Denver Art Museum, and Trustee of the Berger Collection Educational Trust.

Nominations

Institutions and publishers are welcome to nominate individuals they believe will fulfill the criteria set for the prize. Other nominations should be supported by the names of two individual scholars of good standing, together with their contact information.

Nominations should be made to:

The SecretaryWilliam M. B. Berger Prize for British Art HistoryThe British Art Journal46 Grove LaneLondon SE5 8ST, UKeditor@britishartjournal.co.uk

Upon the assessors’ acceptance of a nomination, copies of the work must be submitted for further consideration.

William MB Berger Prize for British Art History Prize winners and presenters

Berger Prize for 2017

The winner of the William M. B. Berger Prize for British Art History 2017 (books published January 1 – December 31, 2015) is Winifred Knights 1899–1947 by Sacha Llewellyn (Lund Humphries in association with Dulwich Picture Gallery).

2016

Giles Waterfield, The People’s Galleries. Art Museums and Exhibitions in Britain 1800–1914. Yale University Press for the Paul Mellon Centre Centre for Studies in British Art. Presented by Professor Frances Spalding

2015

William L Pressly, James Barry’s Murals at the Royal Society of Arts: Envisioning a New Public Art. Cork University Press. Presented by Loyd Grossman

2014

Alex Bremner, Imperial Gothic: Religious Architecture and High Anglican Culture in the British Empire 1840–1870. Yale University Press. Presented by Professor Gavin Stamp

2013

Emily Howe, Henrietta McBurney, David Park, Stephen Rickerby, and Lisa Shekede, Wall Paintings of Eton. Scala. Presented by Professor Mark Hallett

2012

Terry Friedman, The Eighteenth Century Church in Britain. Yale University Press for the Paul Mellon Centre. Presented by Sir Timothy Clifford

2011

Charlotte Gere and Judy Rudoe, Jewellery in the Age of Queen Victoria: A Mirror to the World. British Museum Press. Presented by A. N. Wilson

2010

Diana Donald and Jane Munro, eds., Endless Forms: Charles Darwin, Natural Science and the Visual Arts. Yale Center for British Art/ Fitzwilliam Museum Cambridge in association with Yale University Press. Presented by The Hon. Lady Roberts, Royal Librarian

2008

Thomas P. Campbell, Henry VIII and the Art of Majesty. Tapestries at the Tudor Court. Yale University Press for the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art. Presented by Robin Simon

2007

John Harris, OBE, Moving Rooms: The Trade in Architectural Salvages. Yale University Press for the Paul Mellon Centre. Presented by Tim Knox

2006

Judith Bronkhurst, William Holman Hunt: A Catalogue Raisonné. Yale University Press for the Paul Mellon Centre. Presented by Desmond Shawe-Taylor

2005

Paula Henderson, The Tudor House and Garden. Yale University Press for the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art. Presented by Michael Palin

2004

Derek Keene, Arthur Burns, and Andrew Saint, St Paul’s: The Cathedral Church of London 604-2004. Yale University Press. Presented by Professor Brian Allen

2003

Brian Andrews, Creating a Gothic Paradise: Pugin at the Antipodes (exhibition catalogue). Presented by Sir Andrew Lloyd-Webber

2002

David H Solkin, Art on The Line. The Royal Academy Exhibitions at Somerset House 1780 –1836 (exhibition). Courtauld Institute/Yale University Press. Presented by Sir Roy Strong