Famous as an American artist associated with the Pop Art movement who worked in painting, collage and sculpture, artist and painter Tom Wesselmann (1931-2004) is widely regarded as one of the leading figures in the vanguard of American Pop Art. Born and raised in Ohio, Tom studied Psychology at the University of Cincinnati. He was drafted into the US Army in 1952 and during that time made his first cartoons, and became interested in pursuing a career in cartooning. After his Army discharge, he completed his Psychology degree in 1954 and began to study drawing at the Art Academy of Cincinnati. 1958 was a pivotal year for Wesselman, when on a landscape painting trip in New Jersey, brought him to the realization that he could pursue painting, rather than cartooning, as a career. Mr. Wesselmann’s series Great American Nude began in 1961 and first brought him to the attention of the art world. The series incorporated representational images with an accordingly patriotic theme, such as American landscape photos and portraits of founding fathers. Alongside his contemporaries Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, and James Rosenquist, he forged a new movement using the materials and images of everyday popular culture. In the last ten years of his life, Wesselmann’s health was worsened by heart disease and following surgery for his heart condition, Tom Wesselmann died on December 17, 2004. This exhibition, organized by the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, highlights an artist who constantly reinvented himself long after the Pop Art movement had passed. In his work, Mr. Wesselmann addressed the pressing issues of the art world of his time, which he thought to be the interpretation of the history of art, the status of the image, the relationship between art, industry and technology and the American canon of beauty.

Artwork transportation and handling is a delicate procedure, which requires trained experts with the knowledge and practical experience to protect and conserve fine art through the shipping process. This is why VIP Transport Fine Arts Services, a specialized division of VIP Transport and headquartered in Corona, Ca., is honored to have been selected by Masterpiece to transport the collection of Mr. Wesselmann’s critically acclaimed exhibit from the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts to the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts followed by another transport to its final destination in New York City. VIP Transport’s Fine Art experts utilized their specialized high cube trailer to accommodate the large dimensions of this valuable shipment. This exhibit was also exclusive cargo inside of VIP’s climate-controlled van, ensuring maximum protection of every piece. In addition, a representative from the exhibit traveled as a courier to accompany the exhibit to ensure the highest protection standards were maintained throughout the journey. This exhibition was on display at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts from April 6, 2013 – July 28, 2013.

Photo courtesy of VMFA, New Market and Altria Galleries