The Hyde Collection offers works of American and European art that span almost 6,000 years of art from antiquity to the present. The Museum’s founders, Louis and Charlotte Hyde, acquired the majority of objects during a fifty-year period of avid and highly informed collecting. Many of these works are displayed in Hyde House, the founders’ former home.
The permanent collection consists of more than 4,000 objects, comprising paintings, works on paper, sculpture, and decorative arts, including furniture and textiles. When the Hydes began collecting, their focus was not unlike that of their contemporaries. They acquired Old Master paintings and drawings by such artists as Sandro Botticelli, Claude Lorrain, El Greco, Rembrandt, Peter Paul Rubens, and Giambattista Tiepolo. In their most important decisions, notable scholars William R. Valentiner and R. Langton Douglas often guided them. The Hydes also assembled a significant group of works by important American artists including Thomas Eakins, Childe Hassam, Winslow Homer, John Frederick Peto, Albert Pinkhma Ryder, Elihu Vedder, and James McNeill Whistler.
To further enhance their growing art collection and the Italian Renaissance-style villa they built in 1912, the Hydes acquired sixteenth-century Renaissance tapestries and furniture, as well as late-eighteenth-century Neoclassical French seating furniture and marquetry desks.
After the death of her husband in 1934, Charlotte Hyde continued to acquire new works of art. Approximately two-thirds of the core collection reflects her personal decisions and tastes. It was also during this time that she decided to broaden the scope of the collection, acquiring additional works by such modern masters as Paul Cézanne, Edgar Degas, Pablo Picasso, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, George Seurat, and Vincent van Gogh. Mrs. Hyde died in 1963, at which time The Hyde Collection opened to the public on a permanent basis.
The collection continues to grow most rapidly with works by late nineteenth- and twentieth-century American and European artists. The collection boasts works by George Bellows, Stuart Davis, Dorothy Dehner, Arthur Dove, Lyonel Feininger, Adolph Gottlieb, Keith Haring, Barbara Hepworth, Edward Hopper, Wassily Kandinsky, John Marin, Ben Nicholson, John Henry Ramirez, Diego Rivera, Georges Rouault, David Smith, Max Weber, and Abraham Walkowitz. With the gift of the Feibes and Schmitt Collection in 2016, The Hyde gained an additional 160 works by some of the most well-known, respected, and studied artists in Modern and Contemporary art. These include: Joseph Albers, Jean Arp, Grace Hartigan, Ellsworth Kelly, Franz Kline, Sol LeWitt, Man Ray, Robert Motherwell, Louise Nevelson, Robert Rauschenberg, George Rickey, Bridget Riley, Frank Stella, and Andy Warhol, among others.