December 7, 2006
Director of Media Relations
AMHERST, Mass. - Works by British artists from the 17th century to the present are featured in "Through British Eyes: British Art at the Mead" on view at the Mead Art Museum at Amherst College from Tuesday, Jan. 23, to Sunday, Aug. 26, 2007. Drawn exclusively from the Mead’s permanent collection, the works in this exhibition reflect the breadth and depth of the museum’s British holdings, one of the strengths of its European collection. From the stately 17th-century decorative paneled interior permanently installed in the Rotherwas Room in the Mead to the contemporary drawings of the environmental sculptor David Nash, the exhibition showcases a variety of media, including paintings, drawings, watercolors, prints, photographs and decorative arts.
Lord Jeffery Amherst is represented in portraits by Sir Joshua Reynolds and Thomas Gainsborough. Other distinguished masters of this essential British genre include George Beare, Francis Cotes, John Hoppner, Sir Thomas Lawrence, Allan Ramsay, Sir Henry Raeburn and Richard Wilson. In addition to portraiture, the exhibition presents historical and literary subjects, Romantic landscape paintings and works exemplifying the British watercolor tradition. This roster of artists includes Thomas Barker of Bath, David Cox, Thomas Francis Dicksee, Sir Edwin Henry Landseer, Edward Lear, Charles Robert Leslie, John Linnell, John Martin, George Morland, James Sant and John Varley.
Outstanding examples of 18th-and 19th-century mezzotints by James Watson, Valentine Green and David Lucas after Constable; satirical engravings and etchings by William Hogarth, James Gillray and Thomas Rowlandson; and Blake’s celebrated illustrations of the Book of Job are among the rich variety of prints on display. (Due to the length of the show, works on paper will be shown in rotating selections.)
Among the 20th-century artists represented are Bill Brandt, Barbara Hepworth, David Hockney and Henry Moore.
Related events include a gallery talk at 2 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 23, in the Fairchild Gallery, by Carol Solomon Kiefer, curator of European art at the Mead. Reynolds’s "Portrait of Sir Jeffery Amherst" will be the focus of a lecture titled "Jeffery Amherst and the American Way of War" by Kevin Sweeney, professor of American Studies and history at Amherst College, at 2 p.m. on Friday, March 30, in the Fairchild Gallery.
The Mead Art Museum is open Tuesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Thursday evenings until 9 p.m. More information is available on the museum’s Website at www.amherst.edu/mead or by calling the Mead Art Museum at 413/542-2335. All events are free and open to the public.