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N.Y. Museum of Modern Art adds another Matisse

An important painting was added to the Museum of Modern Art's impressive Matisse gallery Thursday: "The Window/The Yellow Curtain," an abstract view from the window of the artist's home in Issy-les-Moulineaux that was painted in 1915.

The work was one of the last in private hands that dates from the artist's experimental period, which art historians say lasted from 1913 to 1917. The painting came from Stephen Hahn, a retired art dealer and collector who had consigned it to William Acquavella, another Manhattan dealer. Acquavella had the painting in his Upper East Side gallery for about a year with an asking price of about $20 million.Museum officials would not say what was paid for the work, which was part of the Modern's hugely successful Matisse retrospective five years ago.

Curators said the painting was an important addition to the Modern's collection because it is one of the few works the artist made in 1915 and builds on the museum's Matisse holdings. "I've loved this picture for a long time, ever since it was in the show," said John Elderfield, the Modern's deputy director for curatorial affairs. "It also predicts the paper cutouts of his final years."

Another acquisition last week was an abstract sculpture of cedar and pine in the form of a head by the American sculptor Martin Puryear, which was donated to the Modern by Agnes Gund, the museum's president, and her husband, Daniel Shapiro.

- Carol Vogel