Exhibition | Master Drawings

Posted in exhibitions by Editor on June 24, 2013

From The Ashmolean:

Master Drawings
The Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, 25 May — 18 August 2013

Curated by Christopher Brown, Jon Whiteley, and Catherine Whistler


Thomas Gainsborough, Study of a Woman, seen from the back, chalk and stump on paper, 1760-70 (Oxford: Ashmolean Museum)

The Ashmolean announces one of its major summer exhibitions, Master Drawings, as part of the celebrations to mark the founding of the Museum in 1683. The exhibition, drawn from one of the world’s greatest collections of works on paper, will display a selection of the Ashmolean’s treasures of western art including works by Michelangelo and Raphael; Dürer and the artists of the Northern Renaissance; through the centuries to Rubens and Rembrandt; Turner, Degas and Pissarro; up to Gwen John and David Hockney.

Master Drawings will survey seventy-two drawings of all types: figure studies, composition sketches, landscapes and portraits. Many are working drawings; others were made as works of art in their own right. Michelangelo will be represented by a study for the Sistine ceiling, drawn with the robust energy of youth, along with two profoundly poetic works drawn for friends, and a late, contemplative image of the Virgin and the risen Christ. Raphael will be represented by a series of studies ranging from one of his earliest works – a figure of the kneeling Magdalen delicately outlined in silverpoint – to one his last studies, the powerful and famous image of the hands and the heads of two apostles, drawn shortly before his death in 1520.

The history of landscape drawing will be explored from its beginnings with Dürer’s View of the Cembra Valley made in 1494; to watercolour sketches made by JMW Turner from opposite ends of his career. The seventeenth century will be represented in drawings by Rembrandt and Rubens; Guercino; and Claude Lorrain. The story will continue through the following centuries with studies by several of Europe’s greatest draughtsmen: Watteau, Boucher, Fragonard, Tiepolo, Goya, Ingres, Degas and Cézanne.

A full list of artists included is available here»

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From ACC Distribution:

Jon Whiteley and Catherine Whistler, Master Drawings: Michelangelo to Moore (Oxford: Ashmolean Museum, 2013), 160 pages, ISBN: 978-1854442789, £20.

16820The collection of drawings in the Ashmolean is one of the greatest treasures of the University of Oxford. It began spectacularly in 1843 when a group of drawings by Raphael and Michelangelo that had previously belonged to the portrait painter, Sir Thomas Lawrence, was bought by subscription. Lawrence’s collection was one of the greatest collections of Old Master drawings ever assembled and its dispersal was much regretted. The Raphaels and Michelangelos, however, were the jewels in its crown. Following their arrival in Oxford, their fame attracted a number of gifts and bequests of drawings and watercolours by Dürer, Claude Lorraine, Brueghel, J. M. W Turner, Henry Moore and many others.

This is a story not only of Old Masters but of benefactors – Francis Douce, Chambers Hall, John Ruskin and their successors – whose different tastes account for the variety of the drawings in the modern Print Room. It is a story also of the curators who bought them. In particular, it is the story of Sir Karl Parker who arrived at the museum in 1934 and left a collection when he retired in 1962 that comprehensively covered the history of the art of drawing in Europe from its origins to the present day. The exhibition, Master Drawings: Michelangelo to Moore, celebrates this history. It includes many of the finest drawings in Oxford, representing the work of many different artists: Raphael and Michelangelo; Dürer and the artists of the Northern Renaissance; Guercino and Rubens; Boucher and Tiepolo; German Romantics; J. M. W. Turner; Degas and Pissarro; the artists of the Ballets Russes; British twentieth-century artists from Gwen John to Hockney; and much else.

Jon Whiteley is a Senior Assistant Keeper in the Department of Western Art, specialising in paintings, drawings and musical instruments.

Catherine Whistler is a Senior Assistant Keeper in the Department of Western Art, specialising in Italian and Spanish paintings and drawings.

Christopher Brown Announces Retirement Plans

Posted in museums by Editor on June 24, 2013

Press release (June 2013) from the Ashmolean:

Christopher BrownThe Ashmolean has announced that Professor Brown will retire from his post as Director of the Ashmolean on 30 September 2014 after serving in that position for sixteen years. Following a sabbatical year, he will take up a position as a Research Professor in the University for three years until 2018. His work will be on Van Dyck and Rembrandt with the latter to be the focus of an exhibition in the Ashmolean in 2016. He took up the post of Director of the Ashmolean Museum in 1998 and the years of his Directorship have transformed the museum. Visitor figures have risen from 100,000 to over a million during these years. The museum will launch a campaign to create The Professor Christopher Brown Fund which will be used to establish curatorial fellowships at the Ashmolean. The process of finding Professor Brown’s successor will now begin so that his successor will be available to take up the position when he steps down.

Bernard Taylor, Chairman of the Visitors of the Ashmolean has said: “Christopher’s tenure as Director has involved huge positive development for the Ashmolean and he has overseen change on a grand scale with the implementation of architect the late Rick Mather’s wonderful design to transform the museum’s building. Visitor numbers have increased four fold since the opening of the remodelled building, the museum’s scholarly programme has been reemphasised and an ambitious temporary exhibition programme launched. Christopher has been tireless in successfully seeking financial support for the Ashmolean on an international scale. I am delighted that following his retirement, he will remain in Oxford doing his research.” (more…)

Conference | The Eighteenth-Century Gothick

Posted in conferences (to attend) by Editor on June 24, 2013

From the symposium website:

Eighteenth-Century Gothick Symposium
University of Oxford, 7 August 2013

gothickThe Gothick Revival in eighteenth-century Britain is a multi-faceted phenomenon, simultaneously liminal and mainstream, historical and modern, whimsical and serious. This international and interdisciplinary symposium is supported by the Georgian Group and the University of Oxford, and comes thirty years after the landmark Gothick conference held by the Georgian Group at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London. It will bring together current high-quality research by scholars and students on the revival and explore its many dimensions.

Conference registration is now open. Further details can be found on the symposium’s website.

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Oleksandr Golozubov, Laughter and Evil in the English Pre-Romanticism

Alice Labourg, The Pictorial Gothic in Ann Radcliffe’s Novels: From Decorative Details to Picturesque Tableaux

Jenny McAuley, English Literature and the Eighteenth-Century Gothic Revival: The Example of Ann Radcliffe

Thomas Willette, Horace Walpole’s Gothick Cellini

Cathryn Spence, King Alfred’s Hall, Cirencester

Oliver Cox, Back in the Summer of ’69 — Alfred’s Castle and Alfred’s Tower

Ruth Musielak, Gothic and Classical: Gothic Ornaments at Marino, Co Dublin

Peter N. Lindfield, Dicky Bateman, Shobdon Church and Kentian Gothic: The Great Mystery

Jonathan Kewley, Eighteenth-Century Gothick in the Regency: The Career of Thomas Brine

Jean-Marie Guillouët, Pursuing Historiographical Myths during the Eighteenth Century: English and Irish Art Historians and the Late Gothic Architecture in the Iberian Peninsula

Dustin Frazier, Samuel Pegge: A Reassessment

James Marsden, Thomas Leland, Gothic Novelist, Gothic Historian and Classical Educator

Philip Aspin, Enlightened Reactionaries? Gothic Revival thought in late Georgian England

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