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MAKING WAVES: David Ligare’s Magna Fide

July 17, 2020 | Allyson Hitte | Press Room/Blog

The Monterey Museum of Art is excited to announce the acquisition of David Ligare’s Magna Fide in honor of the artist’s 75th birthday.  The Museum is grateful to the generous donors who made this acquisition possible: Judy and Tom Archibald, Elizabeth Barlow and Stephen McClellan, Linda and David Keaton, Sally Lucas, Judith and Frank Marshall, and Lila and James Thorsen.


Museum Purchase in honor of David Ligare’s 75th birthday, with additional funds provided by Judy and Tom Archibald, Elizabeth Barlow and Stephen McClellan, Linda and David Keaton, Sally Lucas, Judith and Frank Marshall, and Lila and James Thorsen, 2020.008. (c) David Ligare.


The Museum acquired the piece earlier this year but waited until this past Saturday, July 11 to reveal it to the artist in a surprise birthday Zoom session and then to the public.  We asked Ligare about the history of the piece and what it meant to him to have MMA acquired it.  He said, “If I can say, this is a favorite painting of mine. In 2014 we were in Italy staying with friends who have a country house in southern Tuscany.  We were all at the beach one day and I was drawing in my notebook when this image popped into my head. When I got back to Florence (where I was working at the time) I made a bigger drawing and then an etching. I made the final painting back in my studio in Corral de Tierra. The rocks were actually modeled on ones in Monterey but the idea was an homage to the Renaissance artist, architect and writer, Leon Battista Alberti who had said that the Sphere is the most perfect form. The inscription on the plinth reads, “Magna Fide” meaning, “The Great Belief.” I’m really happy that the museum acquired this piece because it represents both of the worlds I live in. What a birthday surprise!”


Prior to acquiring Magna Fide, the Museum held 16 works by Ligare in various media, but this is the first large-scale painting in the collection that is a major example of his classically-inspired work. The artist has also donated a preparatory drawing and etching to the Museum so that viewers can experience the full artistic process.  The Museum is currently in the process of organizing a virtual exhibition of all these works together and you can see several of Ligare’s works in MMA’s collection online now.


Click to View Other Works by David Ligare


Born in Illinois, but a long-time resident of the area (primarily Salinas and then Carmel Valley), David Ligare has been involved with the Monterey Museum of Art and the local art community in various ways over many decades. He has an international reputation and is represented by Hirschl & Adler in New York, among others. His work is in major museum collections including the Museum of Modern Art in New York and the Ufizzi Gallery in Florence, Italy. Ligare recently had an exhibition of landscape paintings at the Winfield Gallery in Carmel and was the subject of a traveling exhibition organized by the Crocker Art Museum entitled David Ligare: California Classicist to which MMA lent several works.