Palm Springs Art Museum today dedicated The Joseph Clayes III Exhibition Wing, formerly the McCallum Wing, and opens its inaugural exhibition tomorrow. The renaming of the museum’s second largest exhibition wing was made possible by a $1 million donation from the Joseph Clayes III Charitable Trust.

“My uncle was a lifelong lover and patron of the arts and he would be deeply touched to have this exhibition wing named for him,” said Trulette Clayes, a board member of the Clayes Trust and niece of Joseph Clayes. “He was so fond of Palm Springs and the museum, and he particularly enjoyed music and attending many concerts, recitals and performances of all kinds throughout the state, including those at the Annenberg Theater. He is greatly missed, and it is personally touching that the museum has honored him in this fashion,” she added.

Twentieth Century Modern Artworks from the Permanent Collection, the inaugural exhibition in the wing, is co-sponsored by National Endowment for the Arts with a $40,000 grant matched by museum donors. These modern works are from the museum’s foundational art collection, giving the history of international modern art equal weight to the museum’s impressive contemporary collection in the Steve Chase Wing galleries. By dedicating one of the museum’s principal exhibition wings to works by some of the most recognizable and influential 20th century artists in Europe and the Americas, this installation provides visitors an introduction to the finest representations of modernist aesthetics. It also presents a larger cultural context to assess the region’s well-known history of midcentury architecture and design.

The museum’s collection of mid-20th century European masterworks, buttressed by major works illustrating the history of modernism on the American continent, creates an exhibition of exceptional strength in Southern California. The integration of sculpture, paintings, drawings, photographs, and examples from the architecture and design collections into a single presentation offers dynamic visual exchanges across media, and provides a unique opportunity to create dialogue about the development of modernist vocabularies and aesthetics among related but distinct artistic methods.


The museum’s permanent collection, and especially its collection of midcentury art, has been influenced greatly over the years by the diversity of desert residents that have made donations to it. Many of the foundational pieces have been presented to Palm Springs Art Museum by such influential collectors as Joseph H. Hirshhorn (founder of the Smithsonian Institution’s Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, D.C.); Walter and Leonore Annenberg; Walter N. Marks; and Ted and Lucile Weiner.

Through the kindness of these and other donors, the permanent collection includes works by master artists such as Marc Chagall, Helen Frankenthaler, Barbara Hepworth, Amedeo Modigliani, Pablo Picasso, Henry Moore, Willem de Koonig, Alexander Calder, Rufino Tamayo and numerous others. As the museum’s reputation as a modern art destination increased, others continued to enrich the collection with the donations of works by modernist artists such as Agnes Pelton (who lived and worked in Cathedral City), Alberto Giacometti, Robert Motherwell, Stanley Benjamin, and William Baziotes.

This permanent collection showcases these remarkable works acquired over the years. In addition, educational programming accompanies the exhibition exploring the meaning of these pieces through an evocative and revealing presentation featuring such interpretive aids as descriptive labels, audio tours, and video clips.

For more information about Palm Springs Art Museum, its exhibitions, programs, and outreach to the public, please visit:, or call (760) 322-4800.