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SUArt Galleries Presents ‘Meant to Be Shared: Selections from the Arthur Ross Collection of European Prints’
Organized by Suzanne Boorsch, the Robert L. Solley Curator of Prints and Drawings at Yale University Art Gallery, with the assistance of Heather Nolin, deputy director of exhibitions, programming and education, this monumental exhibition features close to 200 original works on paper, including etchings, engravings and lithographs. “Meant to Be Shared” presents the graphic work of Francisco Goya, Giovanni Battista Piranesi, Édouard Manet, Pablo Picasso, Henri Daumier and Paul Gaugin, among other famous printmakers. Organized by the Yale University Art Gallery, this exhibition was made possible by the Arthur Ross Foundation and a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
The exhibition will be on view Aug. 17 through Nov. 19, 2017, in the Shaffer Art Building at Syracuse University. Gallery hours are Tuesday-Sunday, 11 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.; and Thursdays 11 a.m. – 8 p.m. The gallery is closed on University holidays. The SUArt Galleries will host a gallery reception from 5 – 7 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 7, in which the exhibition curator will be in attendance. Patrons are welcome to view the exhibition until the gallery closes at 8 p.m. The reception is free and open to the public. A fully illustrated exhibition catalogue will be available for sale in the Gallery Shop.
The Arthur Ross Collection comprises three major segments. The largest is a group of 18th-century Italian works by Giovanni Battista Piranesi, Giovanni Antonio Canal (called Canaletto), Giovanni Battista Tiepolo and his sons, and others. A group by the Spaniard Francisco Goya includes the three intriguing and enigmatic series of etchings he made in the second decade of the 19th century, during which Spain suffered, first, Napoleon Bonaparte’s invasion, and then, with the restoration of the Bourbon monarchy, the repressive rule of King Ferdinand VII. The third segment consists of French prints by some of the greatest artists of the 19th and 20th centuries: Eugène Delacroix, Honoré Daumier, Camille Pissarro, Édouard Manet, Edgar Degas, Paul Gauguin, Henri Matisse and Pablo Picasso.
This inaugural exhibition features a selection of Goya’s profoundly mysterious “Disparates (Los proverbios)” (Follies [Proverbs]) series, made around 1816 to 1819 but not published in Goya’s lifetime, for fear of the Inquisition. Other Goya images include highlights from the “Tauromaquia” (The Art of Bullfighting; 1815, published 1816) series and the “Desastres de la guerra”(Disasters of War; circa 1810–11, published 1863). The installation also highlights illustrations of great works of literature—one of the salient themes of the French work—including Delacroix’s lithographs illustrating William Shakespeare’s “Hamlet” (1834–43) and his illustrations for Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s “Faust” (1827, published 1828), as well as Manet’s truly revolutionary illustrations for Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Raven” (1875).
An entire gallery is devoted to views of places that might have been visited on the Italian segment of the Grand Tour, the cultural tour of Europe that was deemed an essential cap to the classical education of young gentlemen, especially those from Britain. Sparkling views of the Venetian region by Canaletto set the stage. The largest section is devoted to Rome; this part of the exhibition features a spectacular six-by-seven-foot map of the Eternal City, published in 1748, designed by the surveyor Giovanni Battista Nolli, and 20 of Piranesi’s “Vedute” (Views; circa 1748–60) of Rome. The final area focuses on images of Pompeii and Paestum, in southern Italy, where in the mid-18th century rediscoveries of ancient sites excited the intelligentsia across Europe.
The title of the exhibition, “Meant to Be Shared,” reflects the raison d’être of the collection. Arthur Ross collected these prints for his foundation with the express purpose, in the words of his widow, Janet C. Ross, “to lend first-class prints . . . to educational institutions in the United States and abroad that would not otherwise have access to such objects for study and enjoyment.” In this spirit, the inaugural exhibition, which opened in December 2015 at Yale, also traveled to the Samuel P. Harn Museum of Art at the University of Florida, Gainesville, in early 2017, before its final presentation here at the Syracuse University Art Galleries.
Suzanne Boorsch, the Gallery’s Robert L. Solley Curator of Prints and Drawings and curator of the exhibition, explains, “Far and away the most difficult aspect of preparing this exhibition was to make a selection from the abundance of riches that constitute this extraordinary donation. The possibilities that the Arthur Ross Collection offers for exhibition, research and teaching are virtually endless, and, indeed, this inaugural exhibition and the collection catalogue are just the beginning of the rewards to be reaped by the study and enjoyment of this gift.”
Yale University Art Gallery’s mission of sharing its collections broadly honors both the legacy of Arthur Ross and the value of the work he collected. Jock Reynolds, the Gallery’s Henry J. Heinz II Director, states, “We are grateful that the Arthur Ross Foundation has chosen the gallery to be the steward of this remarkable collection, ensuring its proper care and always sharing it generously with active learners of all ages.”
Thursday, Sept. 7, 5 – 7 p.m.
Free and open to the public. For parking information, visit parking.syr.edu
- Wednesday, Sept. 6, 12:15 p.m.
Gallery tour of “Meant to Be Shared” with Domenic Iacono, director, Syracuse University Art Galleries
- Wednesday, Sept. 20, 12:15 p.m.
“Meant to Be Shared”: Spotlight on Honoré Daumier
- Wednesday, Oct. 11, 12:15 p.m.
“Meant to Be Shared”: Spotlight on Giovanni Battista Piranesi
- Wednesday, Oct. 25, 12:15 p.m.
“Meant to Be Shared”: Spotlight on Francisco Goya
- Wednesday, Oct. 11, 12:15 p.m.
“Meant to Be Shared”: Spotlight on French Printmakers
SUArt Kids Family Programming:
- Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 21 and 22, 2 p.m
This interactive art gallery experience will include a guided exhibition tour and art related activities at the Syracuse University Art Galleries, designed specifically to engage your family with the featured exhibition, “Meant to Be Shared: Selections from the Arthur Ross Collection of European Prints.”
This event is geared toward kids aged 5-10. Reservations are required. R.S.V.P. to firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Meant to Be Shared: The Arthur Ross Collection of European Prints”
Essays by Suzanne Boorsch, Douglas Cushing, Alexa A. Greist, Elisabeth Hodermarsky, Sinclaire Marber, John E. Moore, and Heather Nolin.
With a foreword by Janet C. Ross
This important volume offers the first comprehensive look at the Arthur Ross Collection—more than 1,200 18th- to 20th-century Italian, Spanish, and French prints—and is published to mark the inaugural exhibition of the collection in its new home at the Yale University Art Gallery. Highlights include superb etchings by Canaletto and Tiepolo; the four volumes of Piranesi’s “Antiquities of Rome,” as well as his famous “Vedute” (Views) and “Carceri” (Prisons); Goya’s “Tauromaquia” in its first edition of 1816; an extremely rare etching by Edgar Degas; and numerous other 19th-century French prints, by Eugène Delacroix, Honoré Daumier, Édouard Manet, Paul Gauguin, Paul Cézanne, and others. The accompanying essays discuss the life of Arthur Ross, a significant philanthropist who funded arts institutions locally, in New York, nationally, and internationally; the formation of the collection and the art-historical significance of the works; and a range of thematic approaches to studying the collection, reinforcing its legacy as an important teaching resource.