Published: September 11, 2001
Holbein to Hockney:
NEW HAVEN, CONN. – Some of the greatest masterpieces of British painting belong to American collections, both private and public.
“: Holbein to Hockney” will run through December 30.
Offering a fresh and beautiful account of the history of painting in Britain from the Sixteenth Century to the present, the exhibition will reveal both the richness of the collections and the particular tastes and interests of American collectors.
Constance Clement, acting director of the Yale Center for British Art, said, “Although the Center is unique in embracing British art as its exclusive specialty, many other American collections contain a single work – and some a group of works – of superlative quality.” Among the artists to be represented in force are Thomas Gainsborough, J.M.W. Turner, and John Constable.
The principal lenders will be the two institutions where the exhibition will be shown: the Yale Center for British Art and the Huntington Art Collections in San Marino, Calif. As the two premier collections of British art in the United States, the Yale Center and the Huntington are natural partners in the project, and each will contribute about ten paintings.
Yale’s contribution includes William Hogarth’s “The Beggar’s Opera,” George Stubbs’ “Zebra,” Joshua Reynolds’ “Mrs Abington,” J.M.W. Turner’s “Staffa,” and John Constable’s “Hadleigh Castle.”
The Huntington will loan “Karl Freidrich Abel” by Thomas Gainsborough, “Diana, Viscountess Crosbie” by Joshua Reynolds, “Lady Hamilton in a Straw Hat” by George Romney, “The Grand Canal, Venice” by J.M.W. Turner, and “View on the Stour near Dedham” and “Salisbury Cathedral” by John Constable.
A major highlight of the exhibition will be the Detroit Institute of Art’s masterpiece painting “The Nightmare,” by Henry Fuseli. The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York is supporting the exhibition with the loan of five paintings, including two celebrated masterpieces by Thomas Lawrence, “Elizabeth Farren” and “The Calmady Children.”
The scope of the exhibition covers the best of the many non-British artists who have worked in Britain, and the National Gallery of Art in Washington is lending Anthony Van Dyck’s “Queen Henrietta Maria and her Dwarf, Jeffrey Hudson,” Gilbert Stuart’s “The Skater,” and James A. McNaill Whistler’s “Wapping.”
The exhibition will feature single works by Gwen John and Bridget Riley from the Museum of Modern Art, New York; two Gainsboroughs from the Cincinnati Art Museum; Gerard Soest’s “Cecil Calvert, Second Lord Baltimore” from the Enoch Pratt free library in Baltimore; and key works from the Albright-Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Wadsworth Atheneum, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and the Kimbell Art Museum, Fort Worth.
There will also be a strong contingent of works from private collections, including a major early Constable, “The Wheatfield,” and important works by Richard Parkes Bonington, John Everett Millais, Albert Moore, Stanley Spencier, Francis Bacon, David Hockney, Lucian Freud, and Jenny Saville.
“: Holbein to Hockney” is curated by Malcoln Warner, senior curator of paintings and sculpture; Julia Marciari Alexander, assistant curator of paintings and sculpture; and Robyn Asleson, an independent scholar.
The exhibition will be accompanied by a catalogue with an essay by Malcolm Warner on American responses to British art and another by Robyn Aselson on American Anglophile collectors, notably Henry E. Huntington, founder of the Huntington Library and Art Collections, and Paul Mellon, founder of the Yale Center for British Art.
The exhibition will travel to Huntington Art Collections, San Marion, Calif., February 3 to May 5. The Yale Center for British Art is at 1080 Chapel Street on the corner of High Street. Hours are Tuesday to Saturday, 10 am to 5 pm, and Sunday, noon to 5 pm. For information, 203-432-2800.
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