POUGHKEEPSIE, NY—The Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center at Vassar College will present an exhibition of the finest early collection of European drawings in the United States this fall from September 16 through December 11, 2011. On Friday, September 16, at 6pm in Taylor Hall (room 203), William Breazeale, Curator of the Crocker Art Museum, will deliver a lecture entitled “Fragonard on the Frontier: The Crocker Collection of Old Master Drawings.” This will be followed by an opening reception at the Art Center.
Previously the exhibition was seen at both the Crocker Art Museum (Sacramento, CA) and the Portland (OR) Art Museum, however this is its only East Coast presentation.
A Pioneering Collection: Master Drawings from the Crocker Art Museum will include 57 rarely seen works by artists such as Albrecht Durer, Fra Bartolommeo, Anthonie van Dyck, Francois Boucher, and Jean-Auguste-Cominque Ingres. The exhibition will be divided thematically into four sections of drawings from Italy, the Low Countries, France, and Central Europe.
These drawings date from the late 15th- to the mid-19th centuries and were purchased between 1869-71 by forward-thinking railroad magnate E. B. Crocker, forming the basis of the Crocker Museum’s master drawings collection. In total, the Crockers purchased 1344 master drawings and 700 paintings during their time in Europe and these formed the basis of their private art gallery, which opened in 1872, featuring visitors like the queen of Hawaii and former U.S. President Grant. Following the death of Edwin Crocker, his wife Margaret transferred the gallery to the California Museum Association, now the Crocker Art Museum. Their old master drawing collection was one of the first historically to be opened to the public in 1885.
This exhibition was organized in celebration of the Crocker’s Anne and Malcolm McHenry Works on Paper Study Center and exhibition space, designed to significantly enhance public access to this collection of master drawings.
A catalogue by lead author and Crocker Art Museum curator Wiliam Breazeale; Cara Dufour Denison, curator at the Morgan Library and Museum; Stacey Sell, associate curator of Old Master drawings at the National Gallery of Art, and Freyda Spira, research associate at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, accompanies the exhibition and will be available at the Art Center gift shop (Paul Holberton Publishing, 2010, $35).
Opening of A Pioneering Collection: Master Drawings from the Crocker Art Museum
September 16 at 6:00pm
“Fragonard on the Frontier: The Crocker Collection of Old Master Drawings”
Taylor Hall, Room 203, followed by a reception in the Art Center
Crocker Art Museum curator William Breazeale, who organized the exhibition and is the lead author for the exhibition catalogue, will deliver the lecture “Fragonard on the Frontier: The Crocker Collection of Old Master Drawings.” A specialist in Old Master drawings, Breazeale received his doctorate from the University of Maryland with a dissertation on Italian 16th-century sketchbooks after the Antique. Having lived in Italy, most recently under the Fullbright Full Grant program, he has studied the art and literature of the country since his undergraduate days at John Hopkins University. He curated the traveling exhibition The Language of the Nude: Four Centuries of Drawing the Human Body and co-authored the exhibition catalogue with three colleagues in the field.
About the Frances Lehman Loeb Art CenterThe Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center was founded in 1864 as the Vassar College Art Gallery. The current 36,400-square-foot facility, designed by Cesar Pelli and named in honor of the new building's primary donor, opened in 1993. The Art Center's collections chart the history of art from antiquity to the present and comprise over 18,000 works, including paintings, sculptures, drawings, prints, photographs, and glass and ceramic wares. Notable holdings include the Warburg Collection of Old Master prints, an important group of Hudson River School paintings given by Matthew Vassar at the college's inception, and a wide range of works by major European and American 20th- century painters. Vassar was the first U.S. college founded with a permanent art collection and gallery, and at any given time, the Permanent Collection Galleries of the Art Center feature approximately 350 works from Vassar's extensive collections.
This January, the Art Center re-opened with a new look at its acclaimed permanent collection in newly reinstalled and reorganized galleries. In addition, to the permanent collection the reorganization includes the Focus Gallery, with temporary exhibitions, as well three galleries devoted to special exhibitions.Admission to the Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center is free. The Art Center is open to the public Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, 10:00am–5:00pm; Thursday, 10:00am–9:00pm; and Sunday, 1:00–5:00pm. Located at the entrance to the historic Vassar College campus, the Art Center can be reached within minutes from other Mid-Hudson cultural attractions, such as Dia:Beacon, the Franklin Roosevelt and Eleanor Roosevelt national historic sites and homes, and the Vanderbilt mansion. The Art Center is wheelchair accessible. For additional information, the public may call (845) 437-5632 or visit fllac.vassar.edu. Directions to the Vassar campus are available at www.vassar.edu/directions.
Vassar College is a highly selective, coeducational, independent, residential liberal arts college founded in 1861.XX