National Portrait Gallery Presents “John Singer Sargent: Portraits in Charcoal”

Exhibition Features 50 Rarely Exhibited Charcoal Drawings by America’s Master Portraitist

The Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery will present a once-in-a-lifetime assemblage of 50 charcoal drawings by American expatriate artist John Singer Sargent. One of the most celebrated and successful portraitists of his day, Sargent abruptly stopped painting portraits in 1907 and produced them almost exclusively in charcoal from then on. He ultimately created several hundred of these highly admired but rarely exhibited works. “John Singer Sargent: Portraits in Charcoal” is the first major exhibition to focus solely on his portraits in this medium. The exhibition, which is organized by the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C., and the Morgan Library & Museum, New York, will be on view at the Portrait Gallery Feb. 28 through May 31.

John Singer Sargent, ‘Daisy Fellowes,’ c. 1920, charcoal on paper. Private collection, Columbus, Georgia. Photo by Jim Cawthorne.

Celebrated art historian, former museum director and Sargent descendant Richard Ormond is guest curator of the exhibition. The curator of the exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery is Robyn Asleson, curator of prints and drawings. The curator of the exhibition at the Morgan Library & Museum is Laurel O. Peterson, Moore Curatorial Fellow, Department of Drawings and Prints. Asleson and Ormond will attend the Portrait Gallery’s press preview Feb. 27 from 10 to 11:30 a.m., and Ormond will deliver a public presentation on the artist’s life and legacy Feb. 27 at 7 p.m. The evening program is free, with advance registration at npg.eventbrite.com.

The full scope of Sargent’s technical versatility as a draftsman and his unparalleled powers of observation as a portraitist are on display in these charcoal drawings,” Asleson said. “On view will be portraits of several dozen extraordinary individuals who not only shaped the world Sargent lived in, but also made enduring contributions to history and culture that continue to impact us today. This exhibition will bring visitors face to face with many of the people who helped define our modern era.”

The National Portrait Gallery’s exhibition will display portraits of Sargent’s contemporaries, including musicians, actors, artists and patrons, literary figures, political leaders and tastemakers—the “influencers” of Sargent’s day. Visitors will encounter likenesses of Queen Elizabeth (the Queen Mother), Prime Minister Winston Churchill, poet William Butler Yeats, painter Sir William Blake Richmond, actress Ethel Barrymore, civil rights attorney and activist Moorefield Storey and avant-garde art and music patron Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney. Also on display will be depictions of Bostonians, the people who made up Sargent’s self-proclaimed American home, and The Souls, a group of intellectual young British aristocrats for whom Sargent served as unofficial portraitist.

The exhibition includes several loans from European private collections and works held by the Morgan Library & Museum, the National Portrait Gallery, London, and other prominent public institutions. “John Singer Sargent: Portraits in Charcoal” is organized by the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C., and the Morgan Library & Museum, New York. The presentation of the exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery is made possible with lead funding from Ann S. and Samuel M. Mencoff. Additional support is provided by Dr. and Mrs. Paul Carter, Andrew Oliver Jr., and the American Portrait Gala Endowment.

Born in Italy to expatriate American parents, Sargent gained international fame through his dazzling oil portraits of an elite clientele. During the early 20th century, at the height of that success, Sargent astonished the transatlantic art world by suddenly abandoning portraits in oil. For the rest of his life, he primarily explored likeness and identity through the medium of charcoal, producing several hundred portraits of individuals recognized for their accomplishments in fields such as art, music, literature and theater. With his skill in swiftly capturing the essence of his subjects, Sargent was able to produce a finished drawing in under three hours. Often made as tokens of friendship or esteem, these portraits vividly depict some of the most original and creative figures of the early 20th century.

The Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery tells the multifaceted story of the United States through the individuals who have shaped American culture. Spanning the visual arts, performing arts and new media, the Portrait Gallery portrays poets and presidents, visionaries and villains, actors and activists, whose lives tell the American story.

The National Portrait Gallery is part of the Donald W. Reynolds Center for American Art and Portraiture at Eighth and F streets N.W., Washington, D.C. Smithsonian information: (202) 633-1000. Connect with the museum at npg.si.edu.

Christie’s Announces Details of Exhibitions, Sales, Tickets and Catalogues for the Collection of Peggy and David Rockefeller

May 1-11 Online Sale | May 8, 9 & 10 Saleroom Auctions

First look at complete collection of more than 1,000 items of decorative art and 550 works of fine art:

  • Two evening sales of European, American and Latin American masterpieces
  • Online sales of Fine and Decorative Arts across eight collecting themes
  • All estate proceeds to benefit philanthropy

Public highlights exhibitions continue around the globe

  • Los Angeles April 6 –12
  • Beijing April 6 – 7
  • Shanghai April 10 –11
  • New York April 28 – May 8

Christie’s announces final details of the most anticipated art world event of the spring season: the sale of the magnificent Collection of Peggy and David Rockefeller. All of the estate proceeds will be directed to a dozen philanthropies Peggy and David Rockefeller supported during their lifetimes, for the benefit of continuing scientific research, higher education, support for the arts, sustainable economic development, and land conservation initiatives, among others.christies_logo_black-hr_mdtv71b

New confirmed details include the complete schedule of live and online sales, illustrated catalogs available online, remaining US and Asia highlights tours and locations, and ticket information to attend the special extended public exhibition of the Collection at Rockefeller Center in New York from April 28 – May 8. The global tour and exhibitions are presented in partnership with VistaJet. In total, the Collection is expected to realize in excess of $500 million. Before now, the most valuable collection ever previously offered at auction was the Collection of Yves Saint Laurent et Pierre Bergé in 2009 at Christie’s Paris, which achieved more than US$400 million.

The Collection of Peggy and David Rockefeller comprises approximately 1,550 auction lots, including one of the largest and most important collections of decorative arts to come to market in decades. Christie’s will offer 900 lots via live saleroom auctions at its Rockefeller Center site on May 8, 9 and 10. A companion online sale – which opens for bidding worldwide on May 1– will feature an additional 650 lots organized across eight collecting themes, with estimates ranging from $100 to $10,000. Through this unique integration of sale channels, Christie’s brings traditional decorative arts to the forefront, leveraging a sophisticated digital marketing approach and ‘guest-stylist’ partnerships with top tastemakers, interior designers, and social media influencers.

Marc Porter, Christie’s Chairman, Americas stated: “This rich and diverse collection of fine and decorative art is unified by Peggy and David Rockefeller’s love of beauty and their unerring eye for exceptional quality and craftsmanship in design. The size and scope of this great collection has inspired us to innovate new approaches to our traditional sale model and leverage our world-class online sale platform as only Christie’s can. The result is a dynamic week of saleroom auctions, including not one but two Evening Sales of masterworks from European, American and Latin American artists and a stellar offering of Decorative Arts across a range of categories. Our online sale, which is organized along the themes and motifs that resonated most with Peggy and David Rockefeller, brings this Collection to life in a fresh and exciting way, and is designed to make it both easy and enjoyable for collectors from all around the world to participate in this singular philanthropic event.

Following the main auction week, Christie’s will offer a selection of 19 lots of jewelry from the family collection as a highlight of its Magnificent Jewels sale in New York on June 12. The jewelry will be exhibited as part of the extended exhibition in New York and the highlights tour to Los Angeles.

In keeping with Peggy and David Rockefeller’s wishes, Estate proceeds from the Collection sales at Christie’s will be directed to the following philanthropies, which the Rockefellers supported throughout their lifetimes: American Farmland Trust, Americas Society/Council of the Americas, Council on Foreign Relations, the David Rockefeller Fund, Harvard University, Maine Coast Heritage Trust, Mount Desert Land and Garden Preserve, the Museum of Modern Art, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, Rockefeller University, and The Stone Barns Restoration Corporation – Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture, among others.

LOS ANGELES TOUR

West Coast collectors and jewelry enthusiasts will get a first look at the Collection highlights between April 6 and 12 when Christie’s brings a selection of masterpieces and Rockefeller family jewels to its flagship West Coast gallery in Beverly Hills. The touring exhibition was curated with the tastes and interests of Christie’s clients in mind, with rare works by American artists Georgia O’Keeffe, Edward Hopper, and Willem de Kooning exhibited alongside masterpieces by Pablo Picasso, Claude Monet, and Paul Gauguin. In addition, Christie’s LA will unveil Diego Rivera’s rarely-exhibited large-scale masterwork, The Rivals, painted in 1931 aboard the ship carrying Rivera and Frida Kahlo to New York. A collection of jewelry owned by Peggy Rockefeller will be included in the Los Angeles previews, featuring signed pieces by Van Cleef & Arpels, Jean Schlumberger for Tiffany & Co., and Raymond Yard, among others.

Porter further added: “This rich and diverse collection of fine and decorative art is unified by Peggy and David Rockefeller’s love of beauty and their unerring eye for exceptional quality and craftsmanship in design. The size and scope of this great collection have inspired us to innovate new approaches to our traditional sale model and leverage our world-class online sale platform as only Christie’s can. The result is a dynamic week of saleroom auctions, including not one but two Evening Sales of masterworks from European, American and Latin American artists and a stellar offering of Decorative Arts across a range of categories. Our online sale, which is organized along the themes and motifs that resonated most with Peggy and David Rockefeller, brings this Collection to life in a fresh and exciting way, and is designed to make it both easy and enjoyable for collectors from all around the world to participate in this singular philanthropic event. Continue reading

Art News: “Old Masters Now: Celebrating the Johnson Collection” at The Philadelphia Museum of Art

Art gives us real delight only when the eye derives pleasure from what is really worthy.

John G. Johnson, from his art and travel memoir, Sight-Seeing in Berlin and Holland among Pictures, 1892.

This fall, the Philadelphia Museum of Art will present Old Masters Now: Celebrating the Johnson Collection, November 3, 2017 – February 19, 2018, a major exhibition focusing on one of the finest collections of European art ever to have been formed in the United States by a private collector. The exhibition marks the centenary of the remarkable bequest of John Graver Johnson—a distinguished corporate lawyer of his day and one of its most adventurous art collectors—to the city of Philadelphia in 1917. It also coincides with the celebration of the centennial of

Portrait of John G. Johnson, 1917. Conrad F. Haeseler, American, 1875 1962

Portrait of John G. Johnson, 1917. Conrad F. Haeseler, American, 1875 1962. Oil on panel, 34 x 24 inches. Philadelphia Museum of Art, Gift of Miss Julia W. Frick and Sidney W. Frick, 1971.

the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. The exhibition will include masterpieces by key figures of the Renaissance such as Botticelli, Bosch, and Titian; important seventeenth-century Dutch paintings by Rembrandt, Jan Steen, and others; and works by American and French masters of Johnson’s own time, most notably Winslow Homer, John Singer Sargent, Édouard Manet and Claude Monet. Old Masters Now will also provide a behind-the-scenes look at the collaborative work of the Museum’s curators and conservators who have worked with the collection since it was entrusted to the Museum’s care in the early 1930s. The exhibition will explore a host of fascinating questions ranging from attribution to authenticity and illuminate the detective work and problem-solving skills that are brought to bear when specialists reevaluate the original meaning and intent of works created centuries ago.pma_title_horz

Born in the village of Chestnut Hill, now part of Philadelphia, and educated in the city’s public Central High School and then the University of Pennsylvania, John Graver Johnson (1841–1917) became recognized as the greatest lawyer in the English-speaking world. He represented influential clients such as J. P. Morgan, US Steel, the Sugar Trust, and Standard Oil. He was also known to accept cases that many would consider ordinary if the details piqued his intellectual interest. Johnson quietly acquired many important works of art, but also highly singular ones that have been the source of much scholarly discussion.

Railroad Bridge, Argenteuil, 1874. Claude Monet, French, 1840 1926.

Railroad Bridge, Argenteuil, 1874. Claude Monet, French, 1840 1926. Oil on canvas, 21 3/8 x 28 7/8 inches. Philadelphia Museum of Art, John G. Johnson Collection, 1917.

At the age of 34 he married Ida Alicia Powel Morrell (1840–1908), a widow with three children. He traveled to Europe often, visiting France, Switzerland, Italy, Austria, Germany, and Belgium, and collected pictures as an amateur art historian relying on his own evaluation. In 1892, he published Sight-Seeing in Berlin and Holland among Pictures. Also that year, he published a catalog of his collection which at the time included 281 paintings.

Saint Francis of Assisi Receiving the Stigmata, 1430 1432. Jan van Eyck, Netherlandish

Saint Francis of Assisi Receiving the Stigmata, 1430 1432. Jan van Eyck, Netherlandish (active Bruges), c. 1395 1441. Oil on vellum on panel, 5 x 5 3/4 inches. Philadelphia Museum of Art, John G. Johnson Collection, 1917.

In 1895, Johnson was appointed to Philadelphia’s Fairmount Art Commission where he oversaw the Wilstach Gallery, which housed a public collection of paintings. Under his leadership, the Commission purchased important works, among them James McNeill Whistler’s Arrangement in Black, and Henry Ossawa Tanner’s Annunciation, the first work by an African-American artist to enter a public collection in the United States. Johnson was also the attorney for Alexander Cassatt, brother of the artist Mary Stevenson Cassatt. One of his earliest purchases was Cassatt’s On the Balcony. When Johnson gave this work to the Wilstach Gallery in 1906, it was the first painting by the artist to enter an American public collection. During his 22-year stewardship of the Wilstach Gallery, he made 53 gifts from his personal collection, which are now on view at the Museum.

Marine, 1866. Gustave Courbet, French, 1819 1877. Oil on canvas on gypsum board. Philadelphia Museum of Art, John G. Johnson Collection, 1917.

Marine, 1866. Gustave Courbet, French, 1819 1877. Oil on canvas on gypsum board. Philadelphia Museum of Art, John G. Johnson Collection, 1917.

Musical Group, 1520s. Callisto Piazza (Calisto de la Piaza da Lodi),

Musical Group, 1520s. Callisto Piazza (Calisto de la Piaza da Lodi), Italian (active Lodi and Brescia), c. 1500 1561/62. Oil on panel, 35 5/8 x 35 3/4 inches. Philadelphia Museum of Art, John G. Johnson Collection, 1917.

Timothy Rub, The George D. Widener Director and CEO said, “Over time our appreciation of Johnson’s extraordinary gift continues to grow, and yet it remains a source of endless fascination with many discoveries still to be made. We are delighted to open a window onto our work, offering visitors a fresh look at the process of scholarship and conservation that we bring to the care of our collection and an insight into the questions, puzzles, and mysteries that continue to occupy our staff.”

Johnson’s collection was formed through his own study and, in later years, with the assistance of illustrious art historians including Roger Fry and Wilhelm Valentiner. Bernard Berenson advised his purchases of works by Antonello da Messina, Sandro Botticelli, and Pietro Lorenzetti, and others. To this day, the John G. Johnson Collection is distinguished by its quality, rarity, and diversity in European art.

Portrait of a Lady, c. 1577 1580. Attributed to El Greco

Portrait of a Lady, c. 1577 1580. Attributed to El Greco (Domenikos Theotokopoulos), Spanish (born Crete, active Italy and Spain), 1541 1614. Oil on panel, 15 5/8 x 12 5/8 inches. Philadelphia Museum of Art, John G. Johnson Collection, 1917.

Portrait of a Young Gentleman, 1474. Antonello da Messina

Portrait of a Young Gentleman, 1474. Antonello da Messina (Antonello di Giovanni di Michele de Antonio), Italian (active Messina, Naples, and Venice) 1456 – 1479. Oil on panel, 12 5/8 x 10 11/16 inches. Philadelphia Museum of Art, John G. Johnson Collection, 1917.

Portrait of Archbishop Filippo Archinto, 1558. Titian

Portrait of Archbishop Filippo Archinto, 1558. Titian (Tiziano Vecellio), Italian (active Venice), first securely documented 1508, died 1576. Oil on canvas, 45 3/16 x 34 15/16 inches. Framed: 58 3/4 × 48 1/4 × 5 inches. Philadelphia Museum of Art, John G. Johnson Collection, 1917.

At the time of his death on April 14 in 1917, Johnson left his collection to the city of Philadelphia. In his will, he said: “I have lived my life in this City. I want the collection to have its home here.” The City of Philadelphia accepted the conditions of his will, which contained a codicil directing that his house be opened as a gallery for the public to enjoy. In 1933 the Johnson Collection was moved temporarily from Johnson’s house at 510 South Broad Street to the Philadelphia Museum of Art, due to a funding crisis caused by the Great Depression as well as a determination by a court-appointed master that the Johnson house was unsafe for the collection. In 1958 the Museum, the City, and the Johnson Trust entered a formal agreement concerning storage and display of the Johnson Collection at the Museum. Johnson’s art was exhibited as a separate collection within the Museum for more than 50 years. In the late 1980s, legal approval was granted for the Museum to integrate the works into its full collection. The collection numbers 1,279 paintings, 51 sculptures, and over 100 other objects.

Christ and the Virgin, c. 1430 1435. Robert Campin, also called the Master of Flémalle, Netherlandish

Christ and the Virgin, c. 1430 1435. Robert Campin, also called the Master of Flémalle, Netherlandish (active Tournai), first documented 1406, died 1444. Oil and gold on panel, 11 1/4 x 17 15/16 inches. Philadelphia Museum of Art, John G. Johnson Collection, 1917.

Head of Christ, c. 1648 1656. Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn, Dutch

Head of Christ, c. 1648 1656. Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn, Dutch (active Leiden and Amsterdam), 1606 1669. Oil on oak panel, laid into larger oak panel, 14 1/8 x 12 5/16 inches. Framed: 28 1/4 x 23 x 2 inches. Philadelphia Museum of Art, John G. Johnson Collection, 1917.

Interior of Saint Bavo, Haarlem, 1631. Pieter Jansz. Saenredam, Dutch

Interior of Saint Bavo, Haarlem, 1631. Pieter Jansz. Saenredam, Dutch (active Haarlem and Utrecht), 1597 1665. Oil on panel, 32 5/8 x 43 1/2 inches. Philadelphia Museum of Art, John G. Johnson Collection, 1917.

The exhibition will open with a gallery dedicated to Johnson himself, providing a picture of one of Philadelphia’s most prominent leaders during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. A timeline will trace key moments in his colorful legal career, highlighting important cases and invitations he was reported to have received from President Garfield and President Cleveland to be nominated for a seat on the United States Supreme Court, and another from President McKinley to serve as his United States Attorney General, all of which Johnson declined. It notes that in 1901, he represented his hometown baseball team, the Phillies (then known as the Philadelphia Ball Club), when players sought to break their contract to play for another team. This section will also explore his decades-long formation of an art collection, from his early acquisitions of contemporary art, such as Mary Cassatt’s On the Balcony, to paintings that he acquired the day before he died. Archival material, travel albums, and large-scale photographs of the interiors of Johnson’s houses at 426 and 506 South Broad Street will reveal the strikingly idiosyncratic way in which he displayed and lived with his collection. Continue reading

Landmark Exhibition “World War I and American Art” Makes Final Stop at Frist Center for the Visual Arts

Public Programs Explore Contemporary Cultural Connections and Role of Art in Healing Wounds of War, October 6, 2017–January 21, 2018

World War I and American Art was organized by the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts.

World War I and American Art, the first major exhibition to examine how American artists reacted to the First World War, opens at Nashville’s Frist Center for the Visual Arts on October 6, 2017. Works by more than seventy artists, including George Bellows, Marsden Hartley, Childe Hassam, Georgia O’Keeffe, Horace Pippin, and John Singer Sargent, represent a pivotal chapter in the history of American art that has until now been overlooked and underestimated.

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James Montgomery Flagg (1877–1960). I Want YOU for U.S. Army, Nearest Recruiting Station, 1917. Poster, 40 x 29 1/2 in. Collection of Walton Rawls. Photo: The Library Company of Philadelphia

Timed to coincide with the centennial of the entry of the U.S. into the war, this ambitious exhibition organized by the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA), Philadelphia, revisits a critical period in history through a wide variety of artistic responses, ranging from patriotic to dissenting. Garnering acclaim from outlets such as Forbes, The New York Times, and PBS NewsHour, the exhibition and its central themes of how artists respond to geopolitical turmoil is strikingly relevant today. American artists were vital to the culture of the war and the shaping of public opinion in several ways. Some developed propaganda posters promoting U.S. involvement, while others made daring anti-war drawings, paintings, and prints. Some worked as official war artists embedded with troops and others designed camouflage or took surveillance photographs.

071_Sargent_Crashed Aeroplane_IWM, London

James Montgomery Flagg (1877–1960). I Want YOU for U.S. Army, Nearest Recruiting Station, 1917. Poster, 40 x 29 1/2 in. Collection of Walton Rawls. Photo: The Library Company of Philadelphia

The exhibition features many high-profile loans from both private and public collections, including most importantly Sargent’s monumental tableau Gassed (Imperial War Museums, London), which has been seen in the U.S. only once before (in 1999).

Working as an official war artist for the British government, Sargent witnessed the aftermath of a German mustard gas attack on British soldiers. He represented the harrowing scene on an epic canvas measuring about 7½ x 20 feet,” says Frist Center curator Trinita Kennedy. “Our presentation of the painting and the exhibition as a whole will be enriched by a lecture on opening day entitled ‘Mr. Sargent Goes to War’ by Richard Ormond, the artist’s great-nephew and a renowned scholar based in London.”

051_Wilson_Front Line Stuff_SAAM

Claggett Wilson (1887–1952). Front Line Stuff, ca. 1919. Watercolor, pencil, and varnish on paperboard, 18 3/4 x 22 7/8 in. Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Alice H. Rossin, 1981.163.11. Photo: Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, DC/Art Resource, NY

The organization of the exhibition mirrors the historical unfolding of the war itself. It begins by showing how American artists interpreted the threat of war while the U.S. remained neutral between 1914 and 1917, the debate to enter it, and then how the conflict involved them directly as soldiers, relief workers, political dissenters, and official artists. The spectrum of political points of view and purpose can be seen through the juxtaposition of works. Hassam’s flag paintings are impressionist and patriotic, while Hartley’s tribute paintings to his slain friend and possible lover, a German military officer, are abstract and mournful. Bellows, at first an opponent of the war, later encouraged US involvement by vilifying German war crimes with macabre detail. O’Keeffe’s more personal work reflected her conflicted feelings about her younger brother’s enlistment.

006_Hartley_Portrait_Weisman Art Museum

Marsden Hartley (1877–1943). Portrait, ca. 1914–15. Oil on canvas, 32 1/4 x 21 1/2 in. Lent by the Weisman Art Museum, Minneapolis, Bequest of Hudson D. Walker from the Ione and Hudson D. Walker Collection, 1978.21.234

Return of the Useless

George Bellows (1882–1925). The Return of the Useless, 1918. Oil on canvas, 59 x 66 in. Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, Arkansas, 2009.6. Photo: Douglas Dalton. Reproduced with permission of The Bellows Trust

A group of patriotic artists came together to form the government’s first art agency in the service of war: the Division of Pictorial Publicity. On display will be iconic recruitment posters created by Laura Brey, Howard Chandler Christy, James Montgomery Flagg, and others that promoted enlistment with stirring imagery and language. There are also posters aimed at mobilizing women on the homefront, encouraging them to enter the workforce to support the war effort. As part of the Frist Center’s presentation, an education gallery with interactive electronic stations will allow visitors to explore such ideologically motivated works of art. Continue reading

The Frist Center for the Visual Arts Announces 2017 Exhibition Schedule

Frist Center Exhibition Schedule Features Buddhist Art; Contemporary American Art from the Crystal Bridges Museum; Irving Penn Retrospective; Soundsuits and Installations by Contemporary Artist Nick Cave; and More

From a 15th-century Tibetan crowned Buddha statue to Nick Cave‘s mesmerizing Soundsuits, the Frist Center for the Visual Arts‘ 2017 exhibition lineup offers an outstanding range of artistic perspectives. (Dates in the schedule below are subject to change.)

A museum with a reputation for excellence and scholarship (accredited by the American Alliance of Museums), the Frist Center for the Visual Arts is a nonprofit art exhibition center dedicated to presenting and originating high-quality exhibitions with related educational programs and community outreach activities. Located at 919 Broadway in downtown Nashville, Tenn., the Frist Center offers the finest visual art from local, regional, national, and international sources in a program of changing exhibitions that inspire people through art to look at their world in new ways. The 2017 Schedule includes the following:

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Secrets of Buddhist Art: Tibet, Japan, and Korea; February 10–May 7, 2017: Crowned Buddha, Tibet, 15th–16th centuries. Mercury gilding, copper alloy, and turquoise. Newark Museum, Purchase 1920 Shelton Collection, 20.454

Secrets of Buddhist Art: Tibet, Japan, and Korea

February 10–May 7, 2017

Ingram Gallery

Tibet, Japan, and Korea all practice forms of esoteric or “secret” Buddhism that are explained only to initiates. The Vajrayana branch of Buddhism utilizes works of art that reveal a complex array of both human and divine figures. Organized exclusively for the Frist Center, the exhibition showcases approximately 100 works from the Newark Museum‘s renowned collection that will introduce a general audience to the stunning aesthetics of Buddhist art and provide a basic understanding of these objects’ function within Buddhist practice. As part of an accompanying educational gallery and program, visitors will have the opportunity to watch Tibetan-Buddhist monks create a sand mandala painting. The painting will be on view in the galleries until the closing weekend of the exhibition, when it will be ceremonially destroyed.

This exhibition was organized by the Newark Museum.

Claire Morgan

February 10–May 7, 2017

Gordon Contemporary Artists Project Gallery

Born in Belfast, Northern Ireland and now living in England, Claire Morgan uses organic materials and taxidermy to create intricate sculptures, hanging installations, and works on paper that explore the impermanence, complexity, and fragility of life forms. Her interest in natural processes and the physicality of animals is seen through her works that capture both the elegance and beauty of life, but also the senselessness and shock of death. Emanating melancholy, Morgan’s works of life suspended in action portend a future of calamity and extinctions. This is her first solo exhibition in the United States.

This exhibition was organized by the Frist Center for the Visual Arts.

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Irving Penn: Beyond Beauty; February 24–May 29, 2017: Irving Penn. Bee, New York, 1995, printed 2001. Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of The Irving Penn Foundation. © The Irving Penn Foundation

Irving Penn: Beyond Beauty

February 24–May 29, 2017

Upper-Level Galleries

Irving Penn: Beyond Beauty conveys the extraordinary breadth and legacy of the work of this influential American artist, whose renown as a fashion photographer is matched by the recognition of his innovative and insightful portraits, still lifes, nudes, and travel photographs. The first retrospective of Penn’s work in nearly 20 years, the exhibition contains more than 140 photographs from the Smithsonian American Art Museum‘s collection, including the debut of 100 photographs recently donated by The Irving Penn Foundation and several previously unseen or never-exhibited photographs. The exhibition features work from all stages of Penn’s career, including street scenes from the late 1930s, photographs of the American South from the early 1940s, celebrity portraits, fashion photographs, and more intimate studio images. Highlights of the exhibition include Penn’s stunning late color work.

Irving Penn: Beyond Beauty is organized by the Smithsonian American Art Museum with generous support from ART MENTOR FOUNDATION LUCERNE, Sakurako and William Fisher, The William R. Kenan Jr. Endowment Fund, The Lauder Foundation—Leonard and Judy Lauder Fund, Edward Lenkin and Roselin Atzwanger, The Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation, Margery and Edgar Masinter, The Margery and Edgar Masinter Exhibitions Fund, the James F. Petersen Charitable Fund in honor of Tania and Tom Evans, The Bernie Stadiem Endowment Fund, and the Trellis Fund. The C. F. Foundation in Atlanta supports the museum’s traveling exhibition program, Treasures to Go.

Mequitta Ahuja, Mocoonama, Acrylic, Colored Pencil and Enamel on Vellum Collage, 87X73, 2012

State of the Art: Discovering American Art Now. May 26–September 10, 2017: Mequitta Ahuja (b. 1976). Mocoonama, 2012. Acrylic, colored pencil, watercolor, waxy chalk, and enamel on vellum, 87 x 73 x 2 in. Courtesy Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, Arkansas. Photo: courtesy of the artist

State of the Art: Discovering American Art Now

May 26–September 10, 2017

Ingram Gallery

State of the Art celebrates the quality and diversity of contemporary art created throughout the United States, both in major art centers and smaller cities and communities across the country. The exhibition debuted at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in 2014 after the museum’s curatorial team traveled more than 100,000 miles, crisscrossing the United States to visit nearly 1,000 artists. This exhibition features 45 artists, including John Douglas Powers from Tennessee. Working in mediums ranging from paint and canvas to video, these artists provide a view from the ground of a wide range of subjects of importance to the people of this country: the impact of history on identity, challenges relating to race and immigration, the importance of family and community, and the protection of the natural environment.

This exhibition was organized by the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas.

Vadis Turner: Tempest

May 26–September 10, 2017

Gordon Contemporary Artists Project Gallery

Nashville-born artist Vadis Turner recently returned to the Nashville area after living for many years in Boston and New York. In her work, she transforms everyday objects—typically hand-dyed textiles associated with women, such as ribbons and bedding—into colorful and textured assemblages. Although her works are largely abstract, many are meant to suggest atmospheres, landscapes, or archetypal female figures such as Eve or Ophelia. Turner also asks questions about traditional gender roles, the value assigned to materials and heirlooms, and the possibility of metamorphoses.

This exhibition was organized by the Frist Center for the Visual Arts.

Mitchell_Walu_2008

Ancestral Modern: Australian Aboriginal Art from the Kaplan & Levi Collection. June 23–October 15, 2017: Tommy Mitchell. Walu, 2008. Synthetic polymer paint on canvas, 40 x 60 in. Seattle Art Museum, Promised gift of Margaret Levi and Robert Kaplan. © Tommy Mitchell. Courtesy American Federation of Arts

Ancestral Modern: Australian Aboriginal Art from the Kaplan & Levi Collection

June 23–October 15, 2017

Upper-Level Galleries

Ancestral Modern: Australian Aboriginal Art from the Kaplan & Levi Collection explores the spectacular flourishing of Indigenous Australian painting and sculpture that has occurred since the 1970s. It presents approximately fifty artworks, including paintings on bark strips, hollow logs, and canvases, in addition to a small selection of sculptures. In many cases, artists have translated motifs from traditional art forms, such as rock and body painting, to media that can be more easily shared with viewers around the world.

In the late 1960s, decades of grassroots activism in Australia culminated in political changes that brought increased power and visibility to Aboriginal peoples. The years that followed marked the start of an artistic renaissance, fueled both by the end of government policies that demanded assimilation into white society and by the growing desire of Aboriginal artists to share their ancient culture with the wider world.

The collection built by Robert Kaplan and Margaret Levi was developed over many years of travel and research and is the preeminent collection of Australian Aboriginal art in the United States.

The exhibition was organized by the American Federation of Arts (AFA) and the Seattle Art Museum (SAM), and curated by Pamela McClusky, curator of art of Africa and Oceania at SAM. The exhibition was made possible by the generosity of Mrs. Donald M. Cox, the Wolfensohn Family Foundation, and an anonymous donor. Continue reading

New Documentary Film From 217 Films Celebrates The Art Of America’s Gilded Age

Coming in December 2016 from filmmakers Michael Maglaras and Terri Templeton of 217 Films, the forthcoming documentary “America Rising: The Arts of the Gilded Age” shows us how “The Gilded Age” was the most prolific and ultimately the most vital era in the American arts.

This new film project is their seventh in ten years and their sixth “essay in film” project.

Writer and director Michael Maglaras has written, “After the Civil War, American arts and American artists come into their own on the world stage. In painting, in sculpture, in architecture, and in music, America finds its artistic soul and voice in the work created from the end of the Civil War through the first decade of the 20th century.”

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Mark Twain 1907 photograph, Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.

Using the work of painters as diverse as Childe Hassam, Winslow Homer, Thomas Eakins, and John Singer Sargent, “America Rising” creates a portrait of an America re-inventing itself after the tragic events of the Civil War as a major artistic force. With the great public sculptures of Augustus Saint-Gaudens, such as the Robert Gould Shaw Memorial in Boston (referred to in the film by Director Maglaras as “the finest piece of memorial sculpture in America”), “America Rising” focuses on how the rise of the middle class and the even greater rising of industrialists like Henry Clay Frick and others contributed to an America poised, through its art, to commemorate its past and invent its future. In the music of Charles Ives and Charles Tomlinson Griffes we hear an America escaping European musical tradition and embracing Modernism.

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Augustus Saint-Gaudens, detail of the Robert Gould Shaw Memorial, 1897. Courtesy of the Saint-Gaudens

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Childe Hassam, The Island Garden, 1892, Watercolor on Paper, Smithsonian American art Museum, Washington D.C./Art Resource, New York

With more than 100 paintings, sculptures, and photographs, as well as film footage of the era (including the only known footage of Mark Twain)…and featuring the on-camera contributions of Professor David Lubin, the Charlotte C. Weber Professor of Art at Wake Forest University, “America Rising” will surprise, as well as entertain viewers across the spectrum.

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John Singer Sargent, Madame X (Madame Pierre Gautreau). 1883-1884. Oil on canvas, 82 1/8 x 43 1/4 in. (208.6 x 109.9 cm). Arthur Hoppock Hearn Fund, 1916 (16.53). Image @ The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Image Source: Art Resource, New York.

217 Films is an independent film company devoted to the American artistic experience. In 2005, Maglaras and Templeton released their first film “Cleophas and His Own” about the American painter Marsden Hartley‘s epic narrative of love and loss. Maglaras both directed and played the role of Hartley in this film. In 2008, they released a second film about Hartley called “Visible Silence: Marsden Hartley, Painter and Poet” – the first-ever documentary on the life of Hartley. In 2010, with their film “John Marin: Let the Paint be Paint!” they established, through the first full-length documentary on this important painter, that John Marin was one of the fathers of American Modernism. These films, among other distinctions, have been shown to acclaim at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. In 2012, they released “O Brother Man: The Art and Life of Lynd Ward.” In 2013, they released “The Great Confusion: The 1913 Armory Show.” Currently on tour is their latest film “Enough to Live On: The Arts of the WPA” celebrating the ways in which Franklin Roosevelt used the arts to raise the spirits of the American people during the Great Depression.

The Sacramento Bee called Maglaras a film maker of “Bergman-like gravitas.” His films have been described as “virtuoso filmmaking” (National Gallery of Art) “alive and fresh” (Art New England) “elegiac and insightful” (Naples Daily News) “unforgettable” (Journal of American History) and “comparable to that of the widely acclaimed Ken Burns” (New Britain Herald). David Berona, author of “Wordless Books,” said of “O Brother Man” “This film is stunning.” Judith Regan of Sirius XM called it “magnificent.The Dartmouth’s review of “The Great Confusion” noted “Michael Maglaras brought the drama of the original show back to life.” Library Journal called it “An excellent analysis of an event that changed the art world.” The Blue Paper called Maglaras’s film on the arts of the WPA “a wonderful celebration of America, her people, and her possibilities.” Maglaras was recently featured in a full-length interview on Conversations from Penn State on Public Television.

217 Films Website: http://www.two17films.com
217 Films Blog:
http://www.two17films.blogspot.com

“Sargent: Portraits of Artists and Friends” at The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Throughout his career, the celebrated American painter John Singer Sargent (1856–1925) created exceptional portraits of artists, writers, actors, dancers, and musicians, many of whom were his close friends. As a group, these portraits—many of which were not commissioned—are often highly charged, intimate, witty, idiosyncratic, and more experimental than his formal portraiture. Brilliant works of art and penetrating character studies, they are also records of relationships, influences, aspirations, and allegiances.

John Singer Sargent (American, 1856–1925). The Fountain, Villa Torlonia, Frascati, Italy, 1907. Oil on canvas; 28 1/8 x 22 1/4 in. (71.4 x 56.5 cm). The Art Institute of Chicago, Friends of American Art Collection

John Singer Sargent (American, 1856–1925). The Fountain, Villa Torlonia, Frascati, Italy, 1907. Oil on canvas; 28 1/8 x 22 1/4 in. (71.4 x 56.5 cm). The Art Institute of Chicago, Friends of American Art Collection

Sargent: Portraits of Artists and Friends (June 30–October 4, 2015) brings together about ninety of the artist’s paintings and drawings of members of his impressive artistic circle. The individuals seen through Sargent’s eyes represent a range of leading figures in the creative arts of the time such as artists Claude Monet and Auguste Rodin, writers Robert Louis Stevenson and Henry James, and the actor Ellen Terry, among others. The exhibition features some of Sargent’s most celebrated full-length portraits (Dr. Pozzi at Home, Hammer Museum), his dazzling subject paintings created in the Italian countryside (Group with Parasols, The Middleton Family Collection), and brilliant watercolors (In the Generalife, The Metropolitan Museum of Art) alongside lesser-known portrait sketches of his intimate friends (Vernon Lee, 1881, Tate). The exhibition explores the friendships between Sargent and his artistic sitters, as well as the significance of these relationships to his life and art.

John Singer Sargent (American, Florence 1856–1925 London) In the Generalife, 1912 American,  Watercolor, wax crayon, and graphite on white wove paper; 14 3/4 x 17 7/8 in. (37.5 x 45.4 cm) The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Purchase, Joseph Pulitzer Bequest, 1915 (15.142.8) http://www.metmuseum.org/Collections/search-the-collections/12116

John Singer Sargent (American, Florence 1856–1925 London)
In the Generalife, 1912
American,
Watercolor, wax crayon, and graphite on white wove paper; 14 3/4 x 17 7/8 in. (37.5 x 45.4 cm)
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Purchase, Joseph Pulitzer Bequest, 1915 (15.142.8)
(http://www.metmuseum.org/Collections/search-the-collections/12116)

The exhibition is made possible by The Marguerite and Frank A. Cosgrove Jr. Fund and is organized by the National Portrait Gallery, London in collaboration with The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Accompanied by a catalogue and an Audio Guide