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Indepth Arts News:

"Master Drawings from the Smith College Museum of Art"
2001-06-19 until 2001-08-12
Frick Collection
New York, NY, USA

The Smith College Museum of Art in Northampton, Massachusetts, is widely acknowledged to have one of the most important college art collections in America, and one of its extraordinary strengths is its renowned collection of master drawings.  New York audiences will have the opportunity to view a superb selection of these works on paper - spanning some six centuries of draftsmanship - when Smith lends an important selection of these works to The Frick Collection, the only North American venue on an international tour.  The exhibition features sixty-eight sheets, ranging from a rare silverpoint drawing of the late fifteenth century attributed to Dieric Bouts, one of the most celebrated of all early Netherlandish portrait drawings, to a 1954 watercolor by Mark Tobey. 

Among the other artists represented in the exhibition are Northern European masters Matthias Grünewald, Jan van Goyen, Adoph von Menzel, Piet Mondrian, and Paul Klee. Italian artists include Fra Bartolommeo, Rosso Fiorentino, Federico Barocci, Giovanni Battista Tiepolo, and Francesco Guardi. Represented are many artists who worked in France, among them Jean-Honoré Fragonard, François Boucher, Jacques-Louis David, Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres, Théodore Géricault, Edgar Degas, James Tissot, Pierre-August Renoir, Vincent van Gogh, Paul Cézanne, Georges Pierre Seurat, Paul Gauguin, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Marc Chagall, and Henri Matisse. Featured English masters include Paul Sandby, Thomas Gainsborough, Aubrey Beardsley, and Henry Moore, while Elihu Vedder, Maurice Prendergast, Charles Burchfield, Arthur Dove, Willem de Kooning, and Barnett Newman are among the Americans.

Curator Susan Grace Galassi comments, The Frick Collection is very pleased to collaborate with the Smith College Museum of Art in making available to our public fine examples of its extraordinarily rich holdings in works on paper. The exhibition also highlights and acknowledges the college's enduring commitment - ever since its foundation - to aesthetic study as central to its overall educational mission.

Master Drawings from the Smith College Museum of Art is on view at The Frick Collection through August 12, 2001, before traveling to the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, where it will be on view from October 16, 2001 through January 6, 2002. Another tour venue in Europe will be announced shortly. The exhibition is organized by the Smith College Museum of Art, Northampton, Massachusetts, and is made possible in part though the support of the Fellows of The Frick Collection.

Smith College was founded in 1875 to instruct young women in various fields including the Useful and Fine Arts, as set forth in the will of Sophia Smith, the benefactor of the institution. Drawing was a cornerstone of art studies at Smith, and in keeping with standard art instruction practices of the day, students learned by copying from paintings and sculptures by the great masters. Most of the works of art procured early by the college were acquired for this specific purpose. Over the years, philosophies changed, and they began to be acquired for their own merits. Today, the collection contains substantial holdings of works on paper, with more than 1,700 drawings, 10,000 prints, and 5,800 photographs.

Maurice Brazil Prendergast
St. John's, Newfoundland 1858-1924
New York South Boston Pier, 1896
18 1/4 x 14 (46 x 35.4 cm.)
Brush and watercolor and graphite on wove paper
Smith College Museum of Art,
Purchased, Charles B. Hoyt Fund, 1950
Photograph: Stephen Petegorsky

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