The Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center of Vassar College will have two exhibitions on view in the 15th annual Master Drawings New York, the pre-eminent event for the celebration and exhibition of Old Master through contemporary drawings, paintings and sculptures in the United States. The online exhibitions, Women Picturing Women: From Personal Spaces to Public Ventures and Challenging Tradition: Teaching with Drawings by Women in a College Museum, will run from January 22 – 30, 2021.
On January 24 at 2:00 pm, Patricia Phagan, The Philip and Lynn Straus Curator of Prints and Drawings at the Loeb, will give a virtual presentation on the Women Picturing Women drawings and on the broader physical exhibition of the same name due to open at The Loeb Art Center on February 6, 2021. The presentation will be followed by a Q&A. Registration is required for this event.
“It is an honor to have this opportunity to showcase a sample of our outstanding collection to art enthusiasts, top dealers, and collectors around the globe,” said T. Barton Thurber, The Loeb’s Anne Hendricks Bass Director and Lecturer in Art.
Women Picturing Women: From Private Spaces to Public Ventures studies the key themes that emerged when selecting only images of women by female artists. In this exhibition from the permanent collection, women artists from the seventeenth century to the 1960s frequently communicated the idea of an intimate or sheltered enclosure, even though they participated in a more public arena to show or even make their work. Other women artists relayed the idea of venturing into a public place, or into the public, intellectual world of a narrative found in religion, mythology, or social critique. The exhibition looks at works through these private and public lenses, with the circumstances of the artist, her training, and the content of the work in focus. The display includes drawings, paintings, samplers, prints, sculptures, and photographs, and is featured here with the drawings in the exhibition.
The collecting of works by women, including drawings, has a long and rich tradition at Vassar College and Challenging Tradition: Teaching with Drawings by Women in a College Museum gives focused attention to The Loeb’s collection. The weight of that tradition, however, comes with challenges. The nineteenth-century founding and subsequent history of Vassar's art museum has resulted in a drawings collection that does not align fully with the curriculum today or with the museum's own priorities. Even the number of drawings by women, while significant, remains a small percentage of the museum's holdings. Within that group, works by women of color comprise an even smaller portion. An important aspect of our current work is to give focused attention to these drawings and to ensure their accessibility to students and faculty. This virtual exhibition highlights some of the dynamic ways faculty and students use drawings by women from the Loeb’s collection in coursework.
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