Drawn to Greatness: Master Drawings from the Thaw Collection / V. Heidi Hass

Drawn to greatness

Drawn to Greatness: Master Drawings from the Thaw Collection

The promise that Eugene and Clare Thaw made in 1975 to donate their entire collection of master drawings to the Morgan Library & Museum will be fulfilled with the opening of Drawn to Greatness: Master Drawings from the Thaw Collection (28 September 2017–7 January 2018). One of the finest private collections of drawings in the world, the Thaw Collection now numbers over four hundred sheets, which together encompass virtually the whole of Western art. Some 175 drawings from the Renaissance to the modern era—from critical movements in the history of the medium—will be mounted in this two-gallery exhibition to celebrate the most transformative gift in the history of the Morgan’s Department of Drawings and Prints.

Attesting to the strength of the collection, the show will demonstrate drawing’s fundamental role in the creative process across six centuries. Visitors will experience these drawings as a series of encounters—with groups of works by artists whose explorations on paper constitute significant contributions to the history of drawing. Mantegna, Cranach, and Bruegel; Rubens, van Dyck, and Rembrandt; the Tiepolos, Canaletto, and Piranesi; Watteau, Fragonard, and Prud’hon; Goya, Ingres, and Delacroix; Friedrich, Turner, and Palmer; Daumier, Millet, and Redon; Pissarro, Degas, and Renoir; Cézanne, Gauguin, and van Gogh; and Matisse, Picasso, and Pollock are among some eighty artists featured.

The accompanying publication features a series of essays by leading scholars devoted to pivotal moments in the history of drawing. Authors include Jane Shoaf Turner, Head of Rijksprentenkabinet, Amsterdam; Andrew Robison, former Head of Drawings, Prints, and Photographs at the National Gallery of Art; Matthew Hargraves, Chief Curator of Art Collections, Yale Center for British Art; Richard R. Brettell, Chair of Art and Aesthetic Studies, University of Texas at Dallas; Jay A. Clarke, Manton Curator of Prints, Drawings, and Photographs, Clark Art Institute; and Colin B. Bailey, Director, John Marciari, Curator and Department Head of Drawings and Prints, and Jennifer Tonkovich, Eugene and Clare Thaw Curator, of the Morgan Library & Museum. A further essay recounts Thaw’s career as a collector of master drawings and a catalogue raisonné documents the Thaw collection in full. Presenting original research, the catalogue will constitute a volume of lasting importance to art history studies.

Hardcover, 9 1/2 x 11 1/2″, 296 pp., 625 illustrations, $40

10% discount for ARLIS/NA members; please call 212-590-0390 to order.

V. Heidi Hass is Director of Research Services at the Morgan  Library & Museum.

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