Introduction

Offering a rare opportunity to see more than 80 works from the distinguished collection of a Smith alumna, this exhibition charts the use of drawing by some of the most accomplished artists from the Renaissance through the Romantic period, focusing mainly on Italian and French art from the 16th to the early 19th century.

An ardent supporter of museums in both the United States and abroad--and widely known for her discernment, connoisseurship, and generosity--the collector has built her world-class collection over a 16-year period. Her devotion to the study of drawings and her willingness to lend works from her collection to public institutions has significantly expanded the available knowledge on these treasured works of art. Drawn to Excellence includes only a portion of the collector’s private holdings, emphasizing the strength rather than breadth of her collection. The objects were also selected to dovetail with an art history course that will be offered at Smith in fall 2012 (Please see Program Highlights.)
 
Drawn to Excellence provides a unique chance to study and compare outstanding examples of draftsmanship as well as a range of styles and uses of drawings by renowned draftsman such as Federico Barocci, Fra Bartolommeo, Francois Boucher, Agnolo Bronzino, Giovanni Benedetto Castiglione, Eugene Delacroix, Jean-Honore Fragonard, Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres, Claude Lorrain, Hubert Robert, Salvator Rosa, Giovanni Battista Tiepolo, and Antoine Watteau, among others. Visitors will see examples of first sketches, figures studies, compositional drawings, portraits, landscapes and more, including ten double-sided sheets in which both sides will be visible.
 
This important collection was first featured in the 2007 exhibition Private Treasures: Four Centuries of Master Drawings, co-organized by the Pierpont Morgan Library & Museum, New York, NY and the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.
 
 A full-color, soft cover 80-page catalogue will accompany the exhibition and will be available for purchase at the SCMA Museum Shop (in person or on line).

 

 
Image Credit: Bartolomeo Cesi. Bologna 1556–1629 Bologna. A Striding Youth Carrying a Bundle of Sticks verso, A Veiled Woman Praying,1591/94. Red and white chalk on blue paper; verso, red chalk. 13 3/8 x 8 5/8 in.; 340 x 220 mm. Private Treasures,cat. 26