Exhibitions

Upcoming Exhibition: In the Light of Caravaggio

December 4, 2017
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February 10 – May 13, 2018

Coming in February 2018, the Muscarelle Museum of Art will present In the Light of Caravaggio: Dutch and Flemish Paintings from Southeastern Museums.  This extraordinary exhibition will feature important Caravaggesque paintings from the renowned collections of the National Gallery of Art in Washington, North Carolina Museum of Art, Speed Museum, Bob Jones University Museum & Gallery, and Chrysler Museum of Art including recent acquisitions to the collection of the Muscarelle.  As seen previously in 2014 at the Muscarelle Museum of Art, Michelangelo Merisi called Caravaggio (Italian, 1571-1610), had an enormous influence on Baroque art with his dramatic use of light and emotive realism.  Paintings by Rembrandt, ter Brugghen, Baburen, Honthorst, Janssens, Seghers and Rombouts exemplify Caravaggio’s influence on Dutch and Flemish painters of the seventeenth century.  This rare gathering of masterworks, on view together for the first time in twenty years, provides a unique opportunity for Muscarelle visitors to see an embarrassment of riches from Southeastern Museums.

Image citation: DIRCK VAN BABUREN | Dutch, c. 1590 – 1624 | Narcissus Gazing at his Reflection (detail), c. 1621 – 1622 | Oil on canvas | Muscarelle Museum of Art at the College of William & Mary | Acquired with funds from the Board of Visitors Muscarelle Museum of Art Endowment | 2016.003

Women With Vision: Masterworks from the Permanent Collection

December 4, 2017
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Opening February 10, 2018

The Muscarelle Museum of Art is proud to present Women With Vision: Masterworks from the Permanent Collection in conjunction with William & Mary’s 100 Years of Women celebration. This exhibition will feature over thirty works by prominent women artists in our permanent collection comprised of a variety of media styles and time periods expressing their vision.

Image Citation: GEORGIA O’KEEFFE | American, 1887 – 1986 | White Flower, 1932 | Oil on panel | Muscarelle Museum of Art at the College of William & Mary | Gift of Mrs. John D. Rockefeller, Jr. | © The Georgia O’Keeffe Foundation | 1934.007

Fred Eversley, 50 Years an Artist: Light & Space & Energy

June 14, 2017
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September 2 – December 10, 2017

Fred Eversley, 50 Years an Artist: Light & Space & Energy features a survey of the artist’s work representing an extraordinary fifty-year career.  Eversley, trained as an engineer, began making his polyester resin sculptures with an aim to “create kinetic art without using kinetic elements such as mechanical movement or artificial light changes.”  Eversley’s strong interest in energy  has led to further creations that utilize wind current to create dynamic acrylic cast forms.  This retrospective exhibition featuring the works of Fred Eversley, an important African American sculptor and innovator, will coincide with the College’s fiftieth anniversary of the first residential African American students.  Interestingly, as the artist has pointed out to us, the dates of desegregation at the College of William & Mary in September 1967 is the exact month and year that he embarked on his exceptional career as an artist.

Press release available here.

Image citation: Fred Eversley | American, b. 1941 | Blue Para, 2004 | Cast polyester resin | 20 x 20 x 6 inches | Muscarelle Museum of Art | Photo: Maria Larsson

Building on the Legacy

May 5, 2017
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September 2, 2017 – January 14, 2018

Building on the Legacy: African American Art from the Permanent Collection is comprised of more than thirty paintings, drawings, works on paper and sculptures by some of this country’s most renowned artists.  This academic year of 2017-2018, the College of William & Mary commemorates the fiftieth anniversary of the first African American students in residence: Lynn Briley, Janet Brown and Karen Ely.  In honor of this milestone, the Muscarelle Museum of Art is proud to showcase works from the permanent collection that encompasses a variety of media, styles and time periods, exemplifying the plurality of vision among these accomplished artists.  The selection embraces a panoply of approaches, ranging from the nineteenth-century realism of Henry Ossawa Tanner to the contemporary conceptualism of Martin Puryear.  The subjects include portraiture by realist and folk artists, black-and-white abstractions and colorful landscapes, including recent acquisitions.

Press release available here.

To learn more about 50th commemoration events, click here.

 

 

 

 Image Credits:
Left: JEANNE MOUTOUSSAMY-ASHE | American, b. 1951 | Maya Angelou, 1993 | Silver print with hand coloring | Muscarelle Museum of Art | Acquired with funds from the Board of Visitors Muscarelle Museum of Art Endowment | © Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe | 2015.027
Right: JOHN WILSON | American, 1922 – 2015 | Martin Luther King, Jr., 2002 | Etching on chine collé | Muscarelle Museum of Art | Acquired with funds from the Board of Visitors Muscarelle Museum of Art Endowment | © Estate of the artist | 2015.011

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.

Fire and Clay: New Acquisitions of Chinese Antiquities

March 21, 2017
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May 6 – August 13, 2017

This exhibition represents a celebration and first public showing of an outstanding collection of Chinese art recently donated to the Muscarelle Museum of Art.  The generous gift comprised of twenty-one superb works, covers an arc of almost two thousand years of the world’s greatest tradition of pottery-making, dating from circa 475-221 BC in clay and 400-201 BC in bronze spanning through 1279-1368 AD.  In the course of this journey, the exhibition and the visitor will encounter enchanting examples from two golden ages of Chinese art, the Han Dynasty (206 BC – 220 AD) and culminating in the Tang Dynasty (618 – 906 AD).

Curated by Dr. John T. Spike with assistance from Phoebe Warren (W&M ’17) and Abigail Bradford (W&M ’17).

Press release is available here.

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 21, 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 – August 2017

Thomas Jefferson’s Honorary Degree , from collection of 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.  Read more about Jefferson’s diploma here.