|Spring 2006 Special Exhibitions|
Compilation of Significant Shows by Stan Parchin,
Senior Correspondent for Museums and Special Exhibitions
Art Institute of Chicago, IllinoisGirodet: Romantic Rebel
February 11-April 30, 2006
Anne-Louis Girodet de Roussy-Trioson (1767-1824) was the rebellious student of Neoclassical painter Jacques-Louis David. More than 100 paintings and works on paper devoted to portraiture, mythology and Napoleon's military accomplishments demonstrate Girodet's artistic style and how his art was influenced by the French Revolution and its aftermath. Travels next to The Metropolitan Museum of Art from May 24 to August 27, 2006 and the Montreal Museum of Fine Art from October 12, 2006 to January 21, 2007.
Birmingham Museum of Art
The Essence of Line: French Drawings
from Ingres to Degas
February 9, 2006-May 14, 2006
Traces the development of drawing in nineteenth-century France through fine examples of preparatory sketches through beautiful watercolors from the Neoclassicism of Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres to the Postimpressionism of Georges Seurat. Travels next to the Tacoma Art Museum from June 9 to September 17, 2006.
The British Museum
Michelangelo: Money and Medals
January 12-June 25, 2006
Rare Italian Renaissance coins and medals describe the frugal painter, sculptor and architect Michelangelo. Also exhibited are medallic images of the ambitious artist's wealthy royal and papal patrons, accompanied by additional small-scale portraits of his friends.
Michelangelo Drawings: Closer to the Master
March 23-June 25, 2006
Drawings from the British, Ashmolean and Teyler Museums, rarely seen, trace the 60-year artistic evolution of the Italian High Renaissance's most notoriously tempestuous genius in this ticketed special exhibition. Included are several studies for the Sistine Chapel ceiling and his monumental Last Judgment fresco.
The Brooklyn Museum
Tree of Life: Jewish Mosaics from the Roman Empire
Brooklyn, New York
October 28, 2005-June 4, 2006
Explains synagogue decoration in the Late Roman Empire through 21 Jewish mosaics from the same building discovered in 1883 in Hammam Lif, Tunisia. Their primary themes are Creation, Paradise and the coming of the Messiah. The exhibition also includes more than 35 examples of bronze ritual objects, gold jewelry, marble statues and textiles from the period.
Read the full review.
William Wegman: Funney/Strange
March 10-May 28, 2006
The last 40 years of the career of American art photographer William Wegman (b. 1943) are examined through 100 works, including pictures of his famous often-costumed weimaraner dogs, collage, drawing, painting, video and books.
Diane Arbus Revelations
February 15-May 14, 2006
Describes the dynamic artistry of award-winning American photographer Diane Arbus (1923-1971) through her images of middle-class families, carnival performers, everyday people, celebrities and transvestites. The show sheds light on the inner workings of Arbus' creative genius through the inclusion of her contact sheets, notebooks and other belongings. Travels next to the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota from July 9 to October 8, 2006.
Read the full review.
Forgotten Empire: The World of Ancient Persia
March 8-June 11, 2006
This landmark special exhibition explores the artistic creativity of Persia, one of the ancient world's great civilizations, offering a unique opportunity to see objets d'art assembled from the National Museum of Tehran, the Persepolis Museum, the British Museum and the Musée du Louvre. Magnificent tributes flowed worldwide into Persepolis, the seat of Achaemenid Persia's empire, whose greatest king was Darius I (550?-486 B.C.). The objects on display attest to the extraordinary developments in Middle Eastern art and culture that Persias flourishing trade encouraged, reflected in the British Museum's Oxus Treasure.
Read the exhibition catalogue review.
Michael C. Carlos Museum
From Pharaohs to Emperors: New Egyptian, Near Eastern, and
Classical Antiquities at Emory
January 14-April 2, 2006
Emory University's Michael C. Carlos Museum celebrates recent acquisitions of artworks from ancient Egypt, the Near East, Greece and Rome in this special exhibition.
Cincinnati Art Museum
Rembrandt: Master Printmaker
February 18-June 11, 2006
The Cincinnati Art Museum celebrates the 400th anniversary of the birth of Dutch Baroque painter, engraver, draftsman and printmaker Rembrandt Harmensz van Rijn (1606-1669) through a display of the master's works on paper. They illustrate his consummate use of line and dramatic lighting to describe the plight of humankind sensitively. Scenes from the Old and New Testaments are prevalent themes in Rembrandt's works on paper presented.
Columbus Museum of Art
February 3-June 4, 2006
Some 75 works from Ohio public and private collections describe the course of American Impressionism. Paintings by Mary Cassatt, Robert Blum and others will be compared with masterpieces by French Impressionists Edgar Degas and Claude Monet.
Courtauld Institute of Art Gallery
All Spirit and Fire: Oil Sketches by Tiepolo
February 23-May 29, 2006
Quickly painted oil sketches and related drawings for larger compositions illustrate the career of Venetian painter Giovanni Battista Tiepolo (1696-1770). The small intimate works on display from the Courtauld Institute of Art and other British collections describe the artist's complex methods of composition and painting when he resided in Italy, Germany and Spain.
Dallas Museum of Art
Lords of Creation: The Origins of Sacred Maya Kingship
February 12-May 7, 2006
150 objects, many never before exhibited here, explore the role of divine kingship in Maya society in a complex urban setting over 2000 years ago. The national museums of Belize, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras and Mexico have lent objects for this landmark special exhibition. Through examples of monumental art and royal portraiture, Lords of Creation... illustrates artistic innovations as they relate to the Maya king and his culture's cosmos as well as indigenous symbols of prestige and authority. Travels next to The Metropolitan Museum of Art from June 13 to September 10, 2006.
M.H. de Young Museum
International Arts and Crafts:
San Francisco, California
William Morris to Frank Lloyd Wright
March 18-June 18, 2006
This special exhibition illustrates the development of the Arts and Crafts Movement from 1880s Britain to its expressions in American, continental European and Japanese art, architecture and design. Featured are 300 examples in architecture, ceramics, furniture, glass, metalwork, paintings, photography, prints, sculpture and textiles from international museums and private collections worldwide. Four recreations of domestic room settings illustrate the importance of the home in the Arts and Crafts Movement, including works by American architect Frank Lloyd Wright (1867-1959).
Dulwich Picture Gallery
Winslow Homer: Poet of the Sea
February 22-May 21, 2006
Describes the uniquely American character of oil paintings and watercolors by Winslow Homer (1836-1910), who did create crisp British seascapes on a visit to Northumberland from 1880 to 1881. Travels next to the Musée d'Art Americain in Giverny, France from June 18 to September 24, 2006.
The Field Museum
Pompeii: Stories from an Eruption
October 22, 2005-March 26, 2006
The first special exhibition on this subject in this country since 1978, the show explores the vibrant art and civilization of Pompeii, Herculaneum and Oplontis at the time of Mount Vesuvius' eruption in 79 A.D. The volcano's lava preserved precious frescoes and mosaics, marble and bronze sculptures, gold objects, exquisite jewelry and everyday household items, many recently discovered. The exhibition includes casts of some of the inhabitants killed during the disaster.
Read the full review.
Freer Gallery of Art
March 4-May 14, 2006
Displays drawings, sketches, paintings, prints, fans, colorful folding screens and scrolls created during the long career of Japanese painter and printmaker Katsushika Hokusai (1760-1849). Public and private collections from Japan, Europe and the United States have loaned masterpieces for this special exhibition.
The Frick Collection
Goya's Last Works
New York, New York
February 22-May 14, 2006
This special exhibition focuses on the final phase (1824-1828) of the career of Spanish painter Francisco de Goya (1746-1828) through approximately 50 innovative oil portraits, drawings, lithographs and experimental miniature paintings on ivory. All of the works displayed were created during Goya's last years in Bordeaux, when he was already aged and profoundly deaf.
Read the full review.
Veronese's Allegories: Virtue, Love, and
Exploration in Renaissance Venice
April 11-July 16, 2006
The Frick Collection's two grand allegorical paintings by the Venetian painter Paolo Veronese (1528-1588) will be displayed with three others, one from New York's nearby Metropolitan Museum of Art and the other two from the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, in this small-scale exhibition. Recent research reveals that four of the five canvases were painted as independent compositions and not as part of a set.
Galeries nationales du Grand Palais
Henri Rousseau: Jungles in Paris
March 13-June 19, 2006
The special exhibition explores the theme of the jungle through 60 paintings by French painter Henri Rousseau (1844-1910). Also featured are allegorical paintings, fantastic landscapes and portraits by the self-taught artist. He was admired by Pablo Picasso and the Surrealists for his bold primitive style and the dreamlike characteristics of his paintings. Having never left France, Rousseau's art was influenced by the botanical gardens, the zoo and pictorial reproductions of exotic locales and animals, many displayed in the show. Travels next to the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. from July 16 to October 15, 2006.
J. Paul Getty Museum
The Medieval Bookshelf: From Romance to Astronomy
January 24-April 9, 2006
A selection of illuminated manuscripts and leaves from the museum's collection examines secular texts on history, law, philosophy, science, entertainment and instruction as well as romances produced during the Middle Ages.
Robert Adams: Landscapes of Harmony and Dissonance
February 7-May 28, 2006
70 prints by American photographer Robert Adams (b. 1937) from the Getty Museum's collection, supplemented by loans from the artist and other sources, illustrate his love of the American West and his interest in its exploitation.
Courbet and the Modern Landscape
February 21-May 14, 2006
Innovations in landscape painting by French Realist painter Gustave Courbet (1819-1877) are explored through 46 examples of this genre. Issues raised in Courbet's art influenced the Impressionists and helped to set the stage for the dawn of Modernism. Travels next to the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston from June 18 to September 10, 2006.
Degas at the Getty
March 7-June 11, 2006
The career of French artist Edgar Degas (1834-1917) is celebrated vividly in this special exhibition that revolves around the Getty Museum's recent purchases of his pastel drawing Miss Lala at the Fernando Circus and his painting The Milliners. Using the museum's vast collections of paintings, drawings and photographs, Degas' key interests (portraiture, entertainment, society and his bathers) come to life.
The Cult of Saints
April 25-July 16, 2006
The Getty Museum presents devotional images of Christian saints key to the practice of Roman Catholicism in medieval and Renaissance Europe.
Joel and Lila Harnett Print Study Center,
Prints and the Courtly World of Mozart
University of Richmond Museums
January 28-April 29, 2006
Commemorating the 250th anniversary of the birth of Austrian composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791), this exhibition of 25 period prints from the museum's collection describes his life and the courtly society in which he lived. Portraits of Mozart as a child prodigy, celebrated composer and accomplished musician are complemented by detailed images of salon concerts, opera houses and their royal habitués. Some of these remarkably preserved works on paper were created by renowned French Rococo artists Jean-Antoine Watteau (1684-1721) and Jean-Honoré Fragonard (1732-1806). Together these images illustrate the importance of music in Western European society during the end of the Eighteenth Century.
Hauser and Wirth Gallery
January 27-March 11, 2006
This exhibition of 300 photographic prints and episodes of television shows by American artist Andy Warhol (1928-1987) depicts the many celebrities who comprised his social scene from 1976 to 1987. Poignant images of Deborah Harry, David Hockney, Mick Jagger, Grace Jones, Paloma Picasso, Robert Rauschenberg, Diana Ross and Diana Vreeland are included in the show.
High Museum of Art
Chuck Close: Self-Portraits 1967-2005
March 25-June 18, 2006
Some 100 paintings, drawings, maquettes and works on paper illustrate nearly four decades of self-portraits in various media by American artist Chuck Close (b. 1940), explaining the intricate processes involved in their production.
The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens
Sensation and Sensibility:
San Marino, California
Viewing Gainsborough's "Cottage Door"
February 11-May 14, 2006
This show focuses on The Cottage Door (1780) by Thomas Gainsborough (1727-1788). It assembles for the first time a group of paintings, prints and drawings related to Gainsborough's larger theme of the cottage and cottage life, borrowed partly from Dutch art of the Golden Age.
Chimu: Imperial Opulence in the Peruvian Desert
January 5-June 2006
More than 200 gold and silver objects, complemented by ceramics, shell and metal jewelry, examples of delicate featherwork and textiles, describe the Chimu civilization (900 to 1476 B.C.) of Andean Peru. The artworks date from before the Incan culture in that mountainous region of Peru and describe the Chimu metropolis of Chan Chan.
Kimbell Art Museum
Gauguin and Impressionism
Fort Worth, Texas
December 18, 2005-March 26, 2006
The Kimbell Art Museum is the last and sole American venue for this first-ever international loan exhibition that focuses on the brilliant, early Impressionist career (1875-1887) of French artist Paul Gauguin (1848-1903). The ticketed show includes more than 50 of Gauguin's paintings as well as 15 of his sculptures and ceramic works.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Antonello da Messina: Sicilys Renaissance Master
New York, New York
December 13, 2005-March 5, 2006
A room in The Metropolitan Museum of Art's second-floor European Paintings Galleries play host to three magnificent paintings by the Italian Renaissance master Antonello da Messina (ca. 14301479). Trained in Naples, he traveled to Venice in 1475, where his art profoundly influenced Giovanni Bellini (1432?-1516) and other painters. Antonello's famous Virgin of the Annunciation is among the three works on loan to The Met from Italy, supplemented by several other pieces.
Read the full review.
Robert Rauschenberg: Combines
December 20, 2005-April 2, 2006
65 mixed-media works by American artist Robert Rauschenberg (b. 1925), his highly imaginative Combines, trace how he reinvented the idea of collage between 1954 and 1964 by drawing on the inspiration of everyday objects and the history of art.
The Fabric of Life: Ikat Textiles of Indonesia
February 28-September 24, 2006
The diverse form and function of Indonesian fabrics known as ikat are explored in this exhibition. From infant wrappings to funerary shrouds, the show explores the varied geometric and figural patterns in the textiles on display.
Samuel Palmer (18051881): Vision and Landscape
March 7-May 29, 2006
Approximately 120 of Samuel Palmer's watercolors, drawings, etchings and oils, drawn from collections spanning four continents, attest to his celebrity as one of England's most important landscape artists of the Romantic era.
Read the full review.
Hatshepsut: From Queen to Pharaoh
March 28-July 9, 2006
Hatshepsut (r. 1473-1458 B.C.), the first female pharaoh of Egypts Eighteenth Dynasty, is the subject of a remarkable loan exhibition. She ruled ancient Egypt for two decadesfirst as regent for, and then as co-ruler with, her nephew Pharaoh Thutmose III (r. 1479-1425 B.C.). During Hatshepsut's reign, trade relations with foreign lands were expanded. Interestingly, subtle innovations in royal sculpture allowed the queen to be portrayed as pharaoh. Hatshepsut's remarkable mortuary temple at Deir el-Bahri reflects the prosperity of her time. After her mysterious disappearance, her nephew Thutmose III obliterated her name and images from public monuments. In his vain iconoclastic attempt to erase the memory of Hatshepsut's accomplishments, he left remarkable artworks for modern-day Egyptologists to interpret. Travels to its last stop at the Kimbell Art Museum, Fort Worth, Texas from August 27 to December 31, 2006.
Read the full review.
Palace and Mosque: Islamic Art from the
Victoria and Albert Museum
January 14-April 16, 2006
This special exhibition traces the development of Islamic art from the Ninth to the Nineteenth Century through 108 examples of carpets, ceramics, glass, ivories, metalwork, textiles and woodwork, organized around five themes: The Written Word; Courts and Courtiers; Mosques, Shrines and Churches; Ottoman Patronage; and Artistic Exchange (between the Middle East, China and Europe).
Milwaukee Art Museum
Géricault to Cézanne: Nineteenth-Century French Prints
May 25-September 3, 2006
Surveys chronologically the development of the graphic arts in nineteenth-century France through the prints of Géricault, Delacroix, Corot, Millet, Degas, Cézanne and others, emphasizing the effects of the Industrial Revolution and the country's changing national sensibility on their art.
Pierpont Morgan Library
Masterpieces from the Morgan
New York, New York
From April 29, 2006
The Morgan Library's inaugural special exhibition to celebrate its reopening includes some 300 objects from its world-class collection of more than 350,000 objects, focusing on highlights of the Library's holdings spanning the course of Western civilization: Mesopotamian cylinder seals; masterpieces of medieval and Renaissance manuscript illumination; one of the Morgan's Gutenberg Bibles; drawings by Italian High Renaissance masters Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael and Michelangelo; Mozart's manuscript for the "Haffner" Symphony; and Mary Shelley's copy of Frankenstein with the author's notes.
Read the full review.
Pioneering Modern Painting:
Cézanne and Pissarro, 1865-1885
February 28 to May 28, 2006
Some 80 paintings (approximately 40 by each artist) and 10 drawings focus on the years 18651885 when Paul Cézanne and Camille Pissarro worked closely with each other, often painting literally side-by-side. Their artistic interaction helped lay the foundation for Modernism in art.
Musée du Louvre
February 24-May 15, 2006
The long career of French Neoclassical artist Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres (1780-1867), the celebrated rival of the great Romantic painter Eugène Delacroix (1798-1863), is examined in this retrospective of 80 paintings and 80 drawings by the master.
Museum of Art, Fort Lauderdale, FloridaTutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs
December 15, 2005-April 23, 2006
This ticketed special exhibition features many objects from the boy-king Tutankhamun's tomb (some of which were here previously, minus his iconic Gold Mask) and another 80 (mostly funerary) artworks from his predecessors' reigns. They include splendid tomb furnishings of the lady Tjuya, such as her gilded coffin. This time around, Tutankhamun is placed historically within the monotheistic maelstrom of his father, Akhenaten, by the presence of artworks that document his religious revolution. Objects specific to Tutankhamun's burial include his delicate royal diadem, discovered encircling the head of the king's mummified body that he possibly wore while still alive, and one of the miniature canopic coffins that contained some of his internal organs. The show climaxes with the recent forensic reconstruction of what Tutankhamun was supposed to have looked like. Travels next to The Field Museum, Chicago, Illinois from May 29, 2006 to January 1, 2007.
Museum of Arts and Sciences
Glories of Ancient Egypt
Daytona Beach, Florida
November 18, 2005-May 7, 2006
The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston graciously lent more than 200 ancient Egyptian artworks and artifacts from its world-renowned collection for this museum's fiftieth anniversary. Relief sculpture, sarcophagi and mummies comprise the exhibition. The show covers every period of ancient Egyptian art from 4000 B.C. to 50 A.D., except for the Middle Kingdom and the Second Intermediate Period.
Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
Reading the Roman Portrait Bust: Ancient Faces from the Collection of
Shelby White and Leon Levy
February 18-July 30, 2006
Marble portrait busts from the collection of Shelby White and the late Leon Levy demonstrate verism in Roman portrait busts as seen in the remarkable sculptural likenesses of Roman emperors Octavian (Caesar Augustus), Hadrian and Caracalla, as well as members of the nobility.
The Spirit of Ancient Colombian Gold
May 14-September 10, 2006
Objects created by the cultures of Colombia from ca. 500 B.C. to 1600 A.D. explore the indigenous peoples' interpretation of gold, their cosmologies and how rulers and shamans exercised power and authority through the use of ritual implements. Pendants, ear and nose ornaments and staff finials, in cast, hammered and repoussé gold, appear in animal forms such as birds, felines and serpents.
The Museum of Modern Art
Edvard Munch: The Modern Life of the Soul
New York, New York
February 19-May 8, 2006
This first major American exhibition devoted to Norwegian Symbolist and Expressionist artist Edvard Munch (1863-1944) in almost 30 years will feature more than 90 of his fascinating paintings and 40 works on paper.
Americans in Paris 1860-1900
February 22-May 21, 2006
Paris was the center of the art world in the Nineteenth Century. This exhibition explores why American art students and artists were lured to Paris, especially after the 1860s, what they found there and how they reacted to it artistically, through the works of James Abbott McNeill Whistler (1834-1903), John Singer Sargent (1856-1925), Mary Cassatt (1844-1926), Henry Ossawa Tanner (1859-1937) and his former teacher, Thomas Eakins (1844-1916), among others. Among the highlights of the show will be Whistler's portrait of his mother, Arrangement in Grey and Black No. 1 (1871), Sargent's Portrait of Madame X (1883-84) and Cassatt's famous paintings that used the mother and child theme. Travels next to the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston from June 25 to September 24, 2006 and The Metropolitan Museum of Art from October 16, 2006 to January 28, 2007.
Bellini and the East
April 12-June 25, 2006
Paintings and drawings produced by Venetian Renaissance artists Gentile Bellini (ca. 1429-1507), Giovanni Bellini (act. by 1459, d. 1516) and others describe the Muslim and Christian Byzantine worlds after the fall of Constantinople to the Ottoman Turks in 1453. The influence of Greek painting and architecture on Venetian art is also explored in this exhibition.
National Gallery of Art
Cézanne in Provence
January 29-May 7, 2006
More than 100 oil paintings and watercolors by French Impressionist and Postimpressionist painter Paul Cézanne (1839-1906) will comprise this special exhibition of works by the father of modern art. Borrowed from public and private collections in the United States and Europe, the works on loan demonstrate Cézanne's intense relationship with his native Aix-en-Provence. They include landscapes of Mont Sainte-Victoire and L'Estaque, family portraits and his series of Bathers from London's National Gallery. Travels next to the Musée Granet, Aix-en-Provence, France from June 9 to September 17, 2006.
February 19-May 14, 2006
This comprehensive survey traces the development of the Dada movement in modern art as it emerged in six international cities during and after World War I. The show features tradition-challenging examples of painting, sculpture, film and collage created by Dadaists such as Kurt Schwitters, Max Ernst, Francis Picabia, Man Ray and Marcel Duchamp as well as other artists less well-known. Travels next to the The Museum of Modern Art, New York from June 8 to September 11, 2006.
Amorous Intrigues and Painterly Refinement:
The Art of Frans van Mieris
February 26-May 21, 2006
The innovative paintings of domestic interiors and portraits by Dutch artist Frans van Mieris (1635-1681), small in scale and many painted on copper, are included in this exhibition. Among them are van Mieris' depictions of charlatans, elegant ladies, peasants and soldiers that explore the themes of deceit, love and vanity. Some of these works influenced the Dutch painter Johannes Vermeer (1632-1675).
Onassis Cultural Center
From Byzantium to Modern Greece:
New York, New York
Hellenic Art in Adversity, 1453-1830
December 15, 2005-May 6, 2006
More than 137 spectacular works from Athens' Benaki Museum, including icons, paintings, metalwork, costumes, jewelry and pottery, describe Hellenic culture from the fall of Byzantium in 1453 through the founding of the modern Greek state in 1830.
Philadelphia Museum of Art
Andrew Wyeth: Memory & Magic
March 29-July 16, 2006
This ticketed 100-piece retrospective of the eight-decade career of American Realist Andrew Wyeth (b. 1917) includes tempera paintings, watercolors and drawings. Arranged chronologically and thematically, the show explores recurrent themes in Wyeth's work, such as domestic interiors, landscapes, family, friends and still-life subjects.
In Pursuit of Genius: Jean-Antoine Houdon and
the Sculpted Portraits of Benjamin Franklin
May 13-July 31, 2006
The Philadelphia Museum of Art's fine marble bust of American scientist, philosopher and statesman Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790) by French master portrait sculptor Jean-Antoine Houdon (1741-1828) is the focus of this special exhibition. The show marks the 300th anniversary of the celebrated scholar's birth. While in the throes of the decadent Rococo Age, the elite of Parisian society was captivated by the fascinating elder Franklin during his tenure as the nascent United States' ambassador to France from 1776 to 1789. Houdon's remarkable likeness of the famous Philadelphian is displayed with some 30 remarkable painted and sculpted representations of Franklin, created by Houdon and other French artists of the period.
Degas, Sickert and Toulouse-Lautrec:
London and Paris, 18701910
February 14-May 18, 2006
The important artistic dialogue between British and French artists in the Nineteenth Century is examined in this special exhibition, emphasizing the influence of Edgar Degas and Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec on their British counterparts.
Portland Art Museum
Hesse: A Princely German Collection
October 29, 2005-March 19, 2006
More than 400 artworks in all types of media celebrate the princely patronage of the German House of Hesse. This ticketed special exhibition features masterpieces of painting from the Northern Renaissance through German Romanticism. The show includes examples of Hesse family jewelry, Baroque silver, drinking vessels, porcelain and furniture.
Prague: The Crown of Bohemia, 1347-1437
Prague, Czech Republic
February 16-May 21, 2006
This highly anticipated special exhibition describes the remarkable flowering of art and culture in late-medieval Prague during the reigns of Holy Roman Emperor Charles IV, crowned king of Bohemia in 1347, and his two sons, Wenceslas IV and Sigismund. More than 90 museums and private collections in 10 European countries and the United States contributed some 200 stunning masterpieces to this show. On display are exceptional examples of panel painting, goldsmiths' work, manuscript illumination, sculpture, silk embroidery and stained glass. Shown to much internationally critical acclaim at New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art, Prague Castle is fittingly the exhibition's final venue.
Read the full review.
Public Museum of Grand Rapids
The Quest for Immortality: Treasures of Ancient Egypt
Grand Rapids, Michigan
January 28-May 7, 2006
The ancient Egyptian idea of the afterlife is dramatically explored through 143 magnificent objects, all from Egypt and many neither displayed publicly before nor been seen outside of their homeland. The show includes a life-sized reproduction of the burial chamber of the New Kingdom pharaoh Thutmose III (ca. 14791458 B.C.). The artworks exhibited, the largest selection of antiquities ever to be loaned by Egypt to North America, range in date from the New Kingdom (1550-1069 B.C.) through the Late Period (664-332 B.C.). They include luxurious objects that furnished tombs, jewelry, painted reliefs, religious implements, a sarcophagus richly painted with scenes of the afterlife and a model of the royal barge that symbolically carried the pharaohs along the Nile River and into the afterlife. Travels next to the Frist Center for the Visual Arts, Nashville, Tennessee from June 8 to October 8, 2006.
The Royal Academy of Arts
China: The Three Emperors, 16621795
November 12, 2005-April 17, 2006
Some 400 artistic treasures, drawn largely from the Palace Museum, Beijing, reflect the peace and prosperity experienced in China under the first three emperors of its Qing Dynasty. Bronzes, jades, paintings and formal portraits, works in porcelain and lacquer, painted scrolls, palace furnishings, exquisite imperial robes and ceremonial armor describe the rulers' court life, ritual banquets and palaces that they inhabited. The exhibition explores Shamanism, Buddhism and the diversity of religious beliefs and practices in China during this period through selected works of art and ritual objects. Despite China's relative isolation from Europe during the Qing Dynasty, clocks, decorative arts and paintings reflect the emperors' fascination with Western modes of artistic and scientific expression.
Jacob van Ruisdael: Master of Landscape
February 25-June 4, 2006
Often regarded as the most important landscape painter of the seventeenth-century Dutch Golden Age, Jacob van Ruisdael (1628?-1682) is the subject of this exhibition. The show includes some 45 paintings, 30 drawings and all 13 of Ruisdaels rare etchings. It covers his densely wooded scenes, conceived and executed early in his career, to the more spacious and diverse compositions of his later years. Ruisdael painted the seashore and forests around Haarlem, but also the more rigorous topography of Germany and Scandinavia, places he studied from other artists works. His breathtaking landscapes were especially sought by collectors in seventeenth-century Holland.
Sakip Sabanci Museum
Picasso in Istanbul
November 24, 2005-March 26, 2006
This first retrospective of a major European artist in Turkey exhibits 135 works spanning Pablo Picasso's career from 1895 to 1971. The foundation and private collection of Bernard Ruiz-Picasso lent 119 masterpieces, with another 12 coming from French and Spanish museums.
The Saint Louis Art Museum
Impressionist Camera: Pictorial Photography in Europe, 1888-1918
St. Louis, Missouri
February 19-May 14, 2006
More than 140 examples of Pictorial photography, rarely seen in this country, are on view in this show's only American venue. Through the use of soft-focus lenses and handmade materials, the artists created stunningly beautiful photographs that resembled paintings and drawings.
San Antonio Museum of Art
Retratos: 2,000 Years of Latin American Portraits
San Antonio, Texas
February 4-April 30, 2006
More than 100 painted and sculpted portraits from 76 museums and private collections in the Caribbean, Central and South America, Mexico and the United States document the rich artistic heritage of Latin America. From the pre-Columbian Moche and Maya cultures through the colonial or viceregal period (1492-1810), indigenous artists represented their rulers and religious leaders in art, having adapted European modes of portraiture. Several pictorial examples of crowned nuns, peculiar to the region's artistic heritage from ca. 1750 to ca. 1850, are exhibited in the show. Nineteenth-century Latin American portraitists, despite their newfound political independence, were not immune to the stylistic influences of Paris, to where they traveled. The exhibition concludes with insightful portraits from the Twentieth Century to the present. The artists' images are infused with a dynamic sense of multiculturalism while maintaining their creators' sense of unique national identity.
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
The Surreal Calder
San Francisco, California
March 3-May 21, 2006
While American sculptor Alexander Calder (1898-1976) lived and worked in Paris during the 1920s and 1930s, he befriended some of the Surrealist movement's most prominent proponents, such as Jean Arp, André Breton and Joan Miró, who influenced his art. Drawn largely from New York's Calder Foundation, rarely seen masterpieces by the sculptor are complemented by others from his Surrealist contemporaries.
Edvard Munch: Symbolism in Print
New York, New York
January 30-May 13, 2006
The Museum of Modern Art has lent Scandinavia House 25 etchings, lithographs and woodcut prints by Norwegian Symbolist and Expressionist artist Edvard Munch (1863-1944). Together they describe his overwhelming preoccupation with anxiety, jealousy, love and sickness, themes still relevant to modern-day society.
Gothic Nightmares: Fuseli, Blake and
the Romantic Imagination
February 15-May 1, 2006
Featuring more than 120 works of art by Henri Fuseli (1741-1825), William Blake (1757-1827) and others, the exhibition explores the British taste for Gothic themes of the fantastic and supernatural from 1770 to 1830. Among the show's highlights are Fuseli's The Nightmare(1781), The Three Witches (1783) and Titania and Bottom (ca. 1790), demonstrating the influences of folklore, popular ideas about the imagination and classical art on his horrific images. More than 25 watercolors and paintings by Fuseli's visionary contemporary, William Blake, include The House of Death (ca. 1795) and The Witch of Endor Raising the Spirit of Samuel (1783). Works by other artists of the period emphasize the Gothic preoccupation with horror, fantasy and perverse sexuality, culminating in the recreation of a nineteenth-century Phantasmagoria slideshow of shocking images and eerie sound effects. The exhibition concludes with an examination of the Gothic influence on such works of literature and film as Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley's Frankenstein (1818) and F.W. Murnau's Nosferatu (1922), respectively.
Toledo Museum of Art
Louis Comfort Tiffany: Artist for the Ages
February 4-April 30, 2006
This exhibition explores the theme of nature as portrayed in the works of American stained-glass designer Louis Comfort Tiffany (1848-1933). Lamps, mosaics, vases, windows and works in other media describe the artist's inspiration from the ancient Near East and antiquity. Travels next to the Dallas Museum of Art from May 28 to September 3, 2006 and the Carnegie Museum of Art from October 14, 2006 to January 14, 2007.
Victoria & Albert Museum
A Masterpiece Reconstructed: The Hours of Louis XII
February 2-May 1, 2006
The manuscript called The Hours of Louis XII was painted by Jean Bourdichon (14571521) for King Louis XII of France in 1498/99, probably in honor of his coronation. Its pages were separated by the end of the Seventeenth Century. 15 of the lost miniatures and parts of the text were discovered within the past few decades. This exhibition reunites them for the first time in more than 300 years.
Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art
Rodin: A Magnificent Obsession
January 28-April 16, 2006
More than 60 bronzes of varying sizes by French sculptor Auguste Rodin (1840-1917), drawn from the Cantor Foundation's holdings, survey the artist's prolific career from the earliest bust of his father through studies of dancing figures and themes such as The Gates of Hell and The Burghers of Calais. Portraits of the artist, works on paper, photographs and a model that explains the lost-wax method of bronze casting further enchance the exhibition's presentation.
From your Guide: Stan Parchin, Senior Correspondent for Museums and Special Exhibitions, is a specialist in ancient, late-medieval and Renaissance art and history, and a regular contributor to About Art History. You may read all of his Special Exhibition and Catalogue Reviews here.