1/25/2013 - 5/26/2013
Organizing institution: The University of Virginia, McIntire Department of Art
Avid collectors since their college days, Frederick and Lucy S. Herman spent over fifty years building an impressive collection of European and American drawings that they generously donated to The Fralin Museum of Art at the University of Virginia for the instruction of students. This exhibition of seventy drawings from their collection celebrates the Hermans’ achievement as discriminating collectors, highlighting areas in which the collection excels and which clearly correspond to their tastes and interests. Although the drawings in this show range in date from about 1525 to 1945 and represent a variety of artistic periods, the exhibition reveals one characteristic that unites them: their superior quality and visual interest. This exhibition also permits the publication of an online catalogue of the results of student research on these drawings, carried out in seminars on the history and connoisseurship of drawings and prints taught by professor of Art History Larry Goedde. This research by both graduate and undergraduate students has resulted in new attributions and new identifications of subjects, and it has led students to a deeperappreciation of the varied purposes of drawings, as well as enhanced their understanding of the role of drawing within an individual artist’s creative process.
The exhibition is organized around a number of themes. Among these are the qualities of specific drawing media and techniques, like chalk, pen and ink, wash, and charcoal, and the highly varied functions of drawings. Indeed, the works exhibited here include rapid informal sketches, studies for paintings, copies recording a design, and drawings made as finished works of art. One drawing on view was made as a forgery of another artist’s work. In addition, drawings are grouped by general subjects and themes that highlight the rich variety of artists’ exploitation of media and techniques in developing their subjects.
One of the pleasures of the study of drawings involves the way drawings record and reveal the hand of the artist at various stages in the creative process. In contrast to paintings and sculptures, which are usually more highly finished, drawings record the movements of the artist’s hand, and through these traces of the artist’s touch, we can decipher hand, eye, and imagination coordinating in the intensity of the creative moment itself.
The Fralin Museum of Art’s programming is made possible by the support of The Joseph and Robert Cornell Memorial Foundation.
The exhibition is made possible through the support of The Fralin Museum of Art Volunteer Board; the Arts Enhancement Fund, sponsored by the Vice Provost for the Arts: fostering access + innovation; the McIntire Department of Art in the College of Arts & Sciences; the Denison and Louise Hatch Americana Preservation Fund; Albemarle Magazine; and Ivy Publications LLC’s Charlottesville Welcome Book.