The Connoisseurs’ Legacy: The Collection of Nesta and Walter Spink celebrates gifts to the museum from two accomplished scholars with eclectic interests, a keen appreciation of form, and a love of learning from objects. Nesta Spink, curator at UMMA from 1967 to 1979, is regarded as the preeminent authority on the lithographs of James McNeill Whistler. U-M professor emeritus Walter Spink is a world-renowned specialist on early Buddhist art and architecture in India. This selection of their gifts, exhibited together for the first time, provides insight into the minds of two connoisseurs with tastes that range far beyond their areas of specialization; highlights include exquisite Whistler prints that are rarely on display and a rich representation of South Asian folk art. The Connoisseurs’ Legacy also honors the Spinks’ long relationship with the museum, their roles as teachers of future scholars and curators, and their commitment to public education.
Lead support for the exhibition The Connoisseurs’ Legacy: The Collection of Nesta and Walter Spink is provided by the University of Michigan Office of the Provost. Additional generous support is provided by the University of Michigan Center for South Asian Studies.