Indepth Arts News: |
"Landscapes of Retrospection: The Magoon Collection of British Drawings and Prints, 1739 - 1854"
2001-01-25 until 2001-03-25
Smart Museum of Art
USA United States of America
Smart Museum exhibition examines the role of landscape representation, antiquarianism and topographical
description in British drawings and prints from the 18th and 19th centuries.
The rapid industrialization, urbanization, and modernization that Britain experienced in the 18th and 19th centuries
provoked feelings of optimism, patriotism and nostalgia from contemporaries. Landscapes of Retrospection, a
special exhibition traveling from Vassar College's Frances LehmanLoeb Art Center to the University of Chicago's
Smart Museum of Art, exploreshow 18th and 19th-century British artists and architects responded to these dramatic
changes by focusing their work on the nation's landscape andarchitectural heritage in order to capture the
changing sense of British identity.
Landscapes of Retrospection will be on view from January 25 to March 25 in the Richard and Mary L. Gray Special
Exhibition Gallery of the Smart Museum and will offer a rare opportunity to see British landscape drawings and
watercolors of this period in Chicago. The opening reception, co-hosted by British Consul General Robert Culshaw,
will take place on Friday, January 26, from 5:00 to 7:30 p.m. at the Smart Museum. The opening reception will
include a gallery tour by Sam Smiles, Professor of Art History at the University of Plymouth, Exeter, England,
remarks by British Consul General Robert Culshaw and readings from selected British romantic literature by Nicholas
Rudall, founding Director of the Court Theatre.
Britain was a nation undergoing tremendous transformation as its empire grew and its economy shifted from
agrarian to industrial. Like many Britons, artists grappled with these unprecedented changes in society. An informal
academy of artists and architects emerged whose work displayed Britain's past while exploring the conditions of the
Through their work, these artists sought to heighten public awareness of the historical fabric of Britain, promote
patriotic virtues and represent the evolving sense of British national identity. Landscapes of Retrospection brings
together prints, drawings and watercolors by leading 18th and 19th-century artists and architects, and includes
landscapes, architectural and garden studies, images of historic buildings and scenes of everyday life in London
and the countryside. Works by noted artists and architects J.M.W. Turner, John Sell Cotman, A.C. Pugin, Frederick
Mackenzie and John Soane are some of the highlights of the exhibition.
Landscapes of Retrospection will also be the occasion for an international symposium featuring leading American
and British scholars. Co-sponsored by the University of Chicago's Departments of English Language & Literature
and Art History, the one-day symposium Natural Histories: Landscapeand Antiquity in Britain, 1770-1850 will take
place at the Franke Institute for the Humanities, University of Chicago, on Saturday, January 27 from 9 am to 4 pm.
It will bring leading scholars from throughout the United States and Britain together to discuss literary and artistic
attitudes towards nature and antiquity in Britain during this period. For more information on the symposium and a
schedule of the day's lectures,please call (773) 834-1778.