The Impressionist Collection
During their lifetimes, the Annenbergs assembled one of the most significant private collections of French Impressionist and Post-Impressionist paintings in the world. Starting in 1954 with the purchase of Vincent van Gogh’s Les Oliviers, St.-Remy (1889), the Annenbergs spent 40 years collecting masterpieces by Renoir, Monet, Van Gogh, Matisse, Picasso, and others. In 1991, they donated the 53-painting collection to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, ensuring the paintings would remain together and be on view for the public to enjoy.
Following the transfer of the collection in 2002, Leonore Annenberg worked closely with the museum staff to create vibrant, full-scale digital reproductions of the paintings and recreated carved duplicates of the original ornate frames for installation at Sunnylands. These reproductions were installed at Sunnylands to forever communicate how significant a role the paintings played in the lives of the donors and the impact they had on the design of the house.