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The Bones of the Earth: Scholars’ Rocks and the Natural World in Chinese Culture, Selections from the Robert Turvene Collection

April 17, 2017
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April 21 – August 13, 2017

In Chinese philosophy and ancient legend, Scholars’ rocks were viewed as “the bones of the earth”. Since the Song dynasty (960–1279), these natural sculptures have been regarded as artifacts of the sacred relationship between man and nature and described in folklore as otherworldly. Collectors of these stones use them for contemplation and inspiration. The selections on view at the Muscarelle Museum of Art are part of larger group and promised gift from the Collection of Robert Turvene (W&M ’53) and are comprised of every revered type including Lingbi, Ying, Taihu, Mohu, Nine Dragon, Kun, Meng and Three Gorges.

Curated by Lowry Palmer (W&M ’17) and Elizabeth Dowker (W&M ’20). Press release is available here.

The Art and Science of Connoisseurship

April 5, 2017
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February 11 – August 13, 2017

The Art and Science of Connoisseurship explores the creative narrative behind six paintings attributed to Agnolo Bronzino, Annibale Carracci, Guido Reni, Peter Paul Rubens, Peter Lely, and Paul Cézanne.  This exhibition presents a series of visual examinations and scientific analyses that address the questions of who, what, where, when, and why surrounding these recently-acquired paintings.  From observations of stylistic progression and considerations of an artist’s chronology, to the identification of retouched surfaces and studies of paint samples, each of the Muscarelle’s new works presents distinctive issues in connoisseurship.

Botticelli and the Search for the Divine: Florentine Painting between the Medici and the Bonfires of the Vanities

December 2, 2016
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February 11 – April 5, 2017

The restless genius of Sandro Botticelli (Florence, 1445-1510) is explored in depth in the most important Botticelli exhibition ever seen in the United States, Botticelli and the Search for the Divine; a major international loan exhibition organized by the Muscarelle Museum of Art in Williamsburg, Va., in partnership with Italy’s Associazione Culturale Metamorfosi.  Every phase of the artist’s tumultuous career is represented in this selection, as well as nine works by his master Filippo Lippi, the only pupil of Masaccio. Botticelli was guided to success by the Medici dynasty, the patrons for sacred altarpieces and sensuous paintings of classical mythology, including several in this unprecedented exhibition. After the fall of the Medici, many of his paintings were lost in the bonfires of the vanities.

In the fourth such partnership, the exhibition will travel to the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston as its only other venue and will include one of only two of Botticelli’s paintings of an isolated Venus, on view for the first time in the United States.  This exhibition is curated by Dr. John T. Spike.

February 11 – April 5, 2017 at the Muscarelle Museum of Art
and April 15 – July 9, 2017 at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Public tours will be held at the following times:

Wednesday at 6:00 PM
Friday at 11:00 AM, 12:00 PM, 1:00 PM, and 2:00 PM
Saturday & Sunday at 11:00 AM, 12:00 PM, 1:00 PM, 2:00 PM, and 3:00 PM


Download the Exhibition Brochure

Press Release Available Here

Image credit: Sandro Botticelli and workshop | Venus (detail) | Oil on canvas, transferred from wood panel | Galleria Sabauda, Turin, lnv. 172

Written in Confidence: The Unpublished Letters of James Monroe

December 2, 2016
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February 11 – May 14, 2017

Unpublished and on view for the first time, these letters are an important new resource for research and scholarship, providing viewers with a unique, inside glimpse of the man who served as President of the United States from 1817 to 1825.  Playing out as a drama in letters, these documents shed light on Monroe’s deliberations, particularly when making political appointments, revealing the sometimes uneasy task of granting positions of power.  The letters’ exhibition and their accessibility to researchers at the Special Collections Research Center create the exciting potential for new discoveries. Uncovering lost details of Monroe’s life and leadership, they provide a new lens through which to view one of the nation’s early leaders.

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[Monroe-Crawford Letters, 1816-1822, Special Collections Research Center, Earl Gregg Swem Library, William & Mary Libraries.]

A Deed Well Done: Thomas Jefferson’s 1783 Honorary Degree

December 1, 2016
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February 11 – May 14, 2017

Thomas Jefferson’s Honorary Degree , on loan from the Massachusetts Historical Society, is the only diploma Jefferson received from his alma mater and confers upon him “gladly and eagerly of the degree of doctor in the civil law.”  This pocket exhibition focuses on Jefferson’s years at William & Mary and the mentors who helped shaped the mind of the third President of the United States.

This exhibition is co-sponsored by the Office of the President at William & Mary.

Botticelli Preview Lecture

November 17, 2016
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November 17, 2016  | Dr. John T. Spike |  Third Thursday Lecture Series | 6 PM  |

Assistant Director and Chief Curator Dr. John T. Spike will preview the upcoming exhibition Botticelli and the Search for the Divine: Florentine Painting Between the Medici and the Bonfires of the Vanities. Through his lecture, Dr. Spike will illustrate and discuss the importance of the many highlights of the show, which will include the most paintings by Botticelli ever exhibited in America.  The theme of this historic show will be the transformation of Florentine Renaissance painting during the patronage of the Medici dynasty which led unexpectedly yet directly to the tumultuous Bonfire of the Vanities.  Presented by EVB.

 

 

EVB

Brafferton Indian School Symposium

November 3, 2016
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November 3, 2016  |  Session 1:  9 AM to Noon, Session 2:  2 PM to 5 PM  |

Interested in learning more about William & Mary’s Brafferton Indian School?  The Muscarelle Museum of Art is pleased to host a day-long symposium, titled Reflections on Virginia’s Colonial Indian School: The Brafferton at the College of William & Mary, held in conjunction with the Museum’s current exhibition Building the Brafferton: The Founding, Funding and Legacy of America’s Indian School. The symposium will consist of scholarly presentations by William & Mary faculty and Colonial Williamsburg staff.  Additionally, student posters will highlight ongoing research on the Brafferton Indian School. The symposium is free and open to faculty and students at the College, as well as the general public.  For more information, please contact Sydney Stewart at sastewart@wm.edu.    Click here for Brafferton Symposium Schedule.

Building the Brafferton: The Founding, Funding and Legacy of America’s Indian School

September 9, 2016
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September 10, 2016 through January 8, 2017    Due to the inclement weather, the Muscarelle will be closed this weekend. We regret that January 6 will be the last day to come and see “Building the Brafferton” exhibition.  However, stay tuned for a forthcoming online version and exhibition catalogue.

Constructed in 1723, the Brafferton Indian School remains a strong visual symbol on the campus of the College of William & Mary. This is the first exhibition to examine the history of the Brafferton within the wider trans-Atlantic networks of trade, politics of church and state, and Great Britain’s colonial enterprise in North America.  New research on the Brafferton connects Indian students from the Pamunkey, Cherokee, Nottoway, and Wyandot tribes, to wider narratives of our shared past.  Historical paintings, engravings, archival documents, and contemporary Native American Art, are assembled to explore the founding, funding, and legacy of one of the nation’s oldest and most esteemed institutions of higher learning.

Curated by Danielle Moretti-Langholtz, Ph.D., Department of Anthropology and the Muscarelle Museum of Art, and Buck Woodard, Ph.D., American Indian Initiative, Division of Historical Research and Interpretation, Colonial Williamsburg Foundation.

Press Release Available Here

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Hark Upon a History: The 1929 Journey to England

As a companion exhibition to Building the Brafferton: The Founding, Funding and Legacy of America’s Indian School, Hark Upon a History is dedicated to William & Mary President Julian Alvin Carroll Chandler’s journey to explore and shed light on the English heritage of the College. In the spring of 1929, President Chandler and school architect, Charles Morrison Robinson, set sail for England. The pair were on a mission to investigate the history of the College and the origins of the Brafferton, which up until that point lay forgotten. This exhibition marks the first time that materials pertaining to their journey are on view. Curated by Sydney Stewart, ’16 and Michaela Wright, ’16, Hark upon a History  will be on display in the Herman Graphic Arts Study Room.