Exhibitions

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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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

Additional public tours will be held at the following times:
Wednesday evenings: 6 pm
Fridays: 12 pm and 2 pm
Saturdays and Sundays: 12, 1, and 2 pm (Upstairs) and 1 and 2 pm (Downstairs)

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Written in Confidence: The Unpublished Letters of James Monroe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Unpublished and on view for the first time, these letters are an important new resource for research and scholarship, providing viewers with a unique, inside glimpse of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.

Hark Upon a History

November 10, 2016
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Hark Upon a History: The 1929 Journey to England, curated by Sydney Stewart, ’16 and Michaela Wright, ’16, is a companion exhibition to Building the Brafferton: The Founding, Funding and Legacy of America’s Indian School.  The exhibition tells the story of William & Mary President Julian Alvin Carroll Chandler and his 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 to investigate the history of the College and the origins of the Brafferton.

For an in-depth look at the materials and research used to curate the exhibition, please click here.

The Art and Science of Connoisseurship

October 17, 2016
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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.

Contemporary American Marine Art: 17th National Exhibition of the American Society of Marine Artists

September 9, 2016
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September 10 through December 2, 2016

Hosted every three years by museums across the U.S., the American Society of Marine Artists (ASMA) holds a juried competition for the best in contemporary marine art.  ASMA is a non-profit educational organization whose purpose is to recognize and promote marine art and maritime history, and to encourage cooperation among artists, historians, academics, enthusiasts and others engaged in activities relating to marine art.  The Muscarelle Museum of Art kicks off the national tour in conjunction with the First National Marine Art Conference in Williamsburg (September 8-11).

Unique to the Muscarelle display, the Museum will partner with the Virginia Coastal Policy Center (VCPC) at the College of William & Mary Law School for a series of lectures featuring marine topics ranging from sea level rise, to the Clean Power Plan and the health of the Chesapeake Bay.  Through the First Tuesday Lecture Series, free and open to the public, the Museum will serve as a neutral space for open dialogue about complex coastal resource management issues among a backdrop of more than 120 works of art from the nation’s leading marine artists.

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.

 

Museumscopes: Photography by Massimo Pacifico

April 14, 2016
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April 16 – August 14, 2016

The Muscarelle Museum of Art is pleased to announce the North American premiere of Museumscopes: Photography by Massimo Pacifico,  a colorful exhibition on the surprising theme that laughter, tears, sleeping and dancing happen every day – even in museums.  In his worldwide travels to shoot stories on five continents, renowned Italian photographer Massimo Pacifico discovered along the way that museums are also great places to see people just being themselves.  He focuses his lens to portray, sometimes with humor and always with sensitivity, the expressions and gestures of his fellow visitors as they stand, watch, ignore or mimic, the statues and paintings all around them.

Curators at Work VI

March 4, 2016
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April 16 through August 14, 2016

Our signature series, Curators at Work, returns in its sixth installment and features significant works from the permanent collection as well as exciting recent acquisitions. This annual exhibition provides the opportunity for undergraduate students from the College of William & Mary to serve as curators under the direction of Dr. John T. Spike in his seminar Curating, Collecting and Connoisseurship (INTR 220-01).