Saturday, December 20, 2014

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U.Va.’s Fralin Museum of Art To Host Lunchtime Talk by Emilie Johnson

Curator and Luzak-Lindner Graduate Fellow Emilie Johnson will give a Lunchtime Talk on The Fralin Museum of Art at the University of Virginia’s exhibition, “Becoming the Butterfly: Landscapes of James McNeill Whistler” on Tuesday from noon to 1 p.m. 

American artist James McNeill Whistler (1834-1903) is best known for his painting “Arrangement in Grey and Black No. 1,” the famous portrait of his mother, and his well-publicized legal battle with the English art critic John Ruskin. Although he often garners as much attention for his flamboyant personality as for his artistic production, a look at the artist’s portraits and early landscapes demonstrates a different side of his vision.

This exhibition features Whistler’s etchings and lithographs from the late 1850s, all drawn from the museum’s collection. The works reveal an artist during a period of prolific work and almost frenzied experimentation, as well as his emerging mastery of the medium and his evolving interest in the aesthetics of light, tone and shade.

In her talk, Johnson will discuss Whistler’s singular, controversial artistic vision, as well as the influence of Rembrandt, contemporary French etchers like Charles Meryon, and the work and collection of Francis Seymour Haden on his work.

This exhibition will be on view through April 28. A second installation, “Becoming the Butterfly: Portraits of James McNeill Whistler,” will be on view from April 30 to Aug. 4.

Johnson is a Ph.D. candidate in art and architectural history in the McIntire Department of Art in the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences. Her primary research focuses on the buildings and landscapes of the antebellum South. As the museum’s Luzak-Lindner Graduate Fellow for the 2012-13 academic year, Johnson has returned to her art history background with work on Whistler’s prints.

The museum’s Lunchtime Talks, free and open to the public, are usually held on the second Tuesday of each month from noon to 1 p.m. These lectures offer the opportunity to join curators and faculty as they explore topics related to museum collections and exhibitions.

For information, call 434-243-2050 or e-mail museumoutreach@virginia.edu. The museum is located at 155 Rugby Road, one block from the Rotunda.

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