Ten Most Prestigious Artists to Have in an Encyclopedic Museum Collection?

OK, art aficionados, who would be the top ten artists whose work would lend prestige to an American Art museum - particularly one with no real focus? I’ll start, off the top of my head:

Leonardo
Michelangelo
Rembrandt
Monet
Picasso
Hopper
Pollock
Cezanne
Van Gogh
Bernini

I realize that an outstanding work by a lesser artist (e.g., Modigliani) would be a much better piece to have than a lesser work by someone like Picasso, but I’m speaking in generalities here. You’re the curator: what ten artists do you want in your museum?

DaVinci
Michaelangelo
Rembrandt
Monet
Renoir
Van Gogh
Picasso
Chagall
Pollack
Warhol

You’re asking for a Top 10 of Western Art.

  • What about a drawing by Durer or a sketch by Raphael or Botticelli (dude knew lines)
  • What about a great print by Hokusai or Hiroshige?
  • How about an early Renaissance painting by Duccio or Giotto?
  • heck, how about a pre-Columbian Mayan calendar?

Given my own personal preferences:

Leonardo da Vinci
Michelangelo
Rembrandt
Jan Steen
Goya
Monet
Gauguin
Van Gogh
Winslow Homer
Dali

Not necessarily. There is a difference between the “best” artists or pieces (judged subjectively, or by higher criticism) and those that would lend the most prestige.

I’d take Wyeth over Hopper, personally, and Henry Moore over Bernini. But I’m OK with the rest of the OP’s list.

We’re talking about the most prestigious artists, not necessarily the best ones or personal favourites, right?

I’d go with:

Van Eyck
Bosch
Bruegel
Botticelli
DaVinci
Michaelangelo
Rembrandt
Van Gogh
Monet
Picasso

Leonardo
Michelangelo
Donatello
Raphael
(my ninja turtle wing - great for marketing)

Rembrandt

The rest I’d go for the impressionist and post-impressionist
Pissarro
Monet
Renoir
Van Gogh

And a Bierstadt to round it out.

This probably reflects my tastes and humor more than a critical opinion.