Comprised of more than eighty works by renowned masters like Fra Bartolommeo, Bronzino, Correggio, Barocci, Tiepolo, Watteau, Fragonard, and Delacroix, this exhibition offers one of the finest opportunities in the Johnson’s forty-year history for our audiences to study a large group of high-quality master drawings. Preparatory studies for major religious paintings, landscapes, energetic working sketches, and elegant presentation drawings from the sixteenth through the early nineteenth centuries highlight the timeless value of drawings connoisseurship and present drawings’ cultural role within a wider range of disciplines and modes of thinking.
This important private collection was first featured in the 2007 exhibition Private Treasures: Four Centuries of Master Drawings, shown at the Pierpont Morgan Library & Museum in New York and the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC. Organized by the Smith College Museum of Art, Drawn to Excellence incorporates newly acquired drawings highlighted in an exhibition catalogue with entries by Smith’s Aprile Gallant and the Johnson’s Andrew Weislogel.
The presentation of
this exhibition at the Johnson Museum was organized by Andrew Weislogel, Curator
of European Art before 1800, and supported in part by a generous gift from Helen-Mae and Seymour R.
In conjunction with the exhibition at the Johnson, lectures by Margaret Holben Ellis and Linda Wolk-Simon of the Morgan Library & Museum were supported by the Edwin W. Weisl, Jr., lectureships in Art History, a program of the Robert Lehman Foundation. In addition, the Foundation supported the Johnson's three-part For Members Only: Drawn In series of talks on drawings and drawing materials.
to Excellence was organized by the Smith College Museum of Art in Northampton,
Massachusetts, where it was supported
by the Edith Stenhouse Bingham, class of 1955, Art Museum Fund, The Louise
Walker Blaney, class of 1939, Fund for Exhibitions, the Charlotte Frank Rabb,
class of 1935, Fund, the Emily Hall Tremaine Fund through the initiative of
Dorothy Tremaine Hildt, class of 1949, the Publications and Research Fund of
SCMA, and the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a State Agency. Visit the exhibition website.
Images from Drawn to Excellence: Renaissance to Romantic... (Click an image to open slideshow)
Jean-Honoré Fragonard (French, 1732–1806), The Bread Box, ca. 1777. Brush and brown wash over graphite.›
Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres (French, 1780–1868), Madeleine Ingres with the Artist, 1830. Graphite.›
Antoine Watteau (French, 1684–1721). A Man Playing the Guitar, 1717/18. Red, black, and white chalk.›