Fantastic Detail: Prints and Drawings of the Nineteenth Century
June – September 2019
Art of the nineteenth century reflects immense cultural change. The industrial revolution introduced vast technological advances in society, transforming manufacturing and transportation. These changes modified the ways people lived, worked, and traveled. Motifs and patterns from different cultures became increasingly available and popular. With the invention of photography in the first half of the century, photo-realism begins to appear in some painting and graphic arts, while other images move toward greater abstraction.
Facing the new, modernized world in which they lived, many artists looked to the past to achieve their artistic goals. Several progressive styles sought a stylistic return to the rich color, detail and complex compositions of medieval art. Admiration for the handmade integrity of the medieval craftsman over the pervasive industrialism and machine-made objects prevalent in society led many artists to find renewal and inspiration in the original print and its historical ties to handmade craftwork.
Spiritual and religious revivals during this time led an abundance of nineteenth-century artists to explore religious subjects in their work. Stories and themes from the Christian tradition offered rich symbolism imbued with spiritual and emotional potential.
Exhibition is on view now through September 2019.