Washington museum announces big donation of Duchamp works

Washington's Hirshhorn Museum has received 50 works by Franco-American artist Marcel Duchamp and contemporaries in the biggest donation since its founding

The Hirshhorn Museum in Washington has received 50 works by Franco-American artist Marcel Duchamp and contemporaries in the biggest donation since its founding.

They include 35 major items and 15 portraits, photographs and works on paper by Duchamp's contemporaries and those he influenced, including Man Ray and Henri Cartier-Bresson, the museum said Wednesday.

Washington art collectors Barbara and Aaron Levine made the donation.

Until now, the Hirshhorn museum of modern art had just one work by the painter and sculptor -- a sculpture from late in his life.

Now, with the donation, the museum will become one of the world's top centers for the study of Duchamp's oeuvre.

"In the early 20th century, Marcel Duchamp reshaped the definition of what we might consider to be art today, setting the stage for all that followed," Hirshhorn director Melissa Chiu said.