July 13, 2007 -- On view through Oct. 3, the University of Virginia Art Museum offers the special exhibition “A Decade of Collecting,” a celebratory overview of works collected by the museum since 1997 that epitomize the museum's strengths in the following areas: painting and sculpture from the Age of Jefferson; American art in a range of media; Old Master prints and drawings; and contemporary art. “Culling works for this exhibition was a challenge,” said Jill Hartz, museum director and exhibition curator, “and certainly more exhibitions of similar size could be presented with entirely different pieces acquired during the same period.”
Every year, the museum brings forth objects from the recesses of its storage areas into the light of exhibition galleries for special shows highlighting particular periods, media or topical themes. In recent years, such exhibitions have provided opportunities to feature new and significant pieces of African, pre-Columbian, Native-American and oceanic art, as well as the important bequest of the Groh/Miller Collection of American art, the significant gifts of Joseph Cornell boxes and collages, and the Herman Collection of European and American drawings. Photographs and sculpture from the collection take their turn in the exhibition galleries later this summer and in early fall.
“With more than 1,500 works acquired over the past 10 years, and more than 100 currently on loan as promised gifts, the museum’s collections continue to grow at a steady pace in both breadth and depth,” Hartz said, “Our collecting priorities respond to the academic mission of the University, the interests and expertise of its faculty and museum curators and the refinement of our already established holdings.”
“A Decade of Collecting” is also a tribute to the many generous individuals and foundations, the University of Virginia and the University of Virginia Volunteer Board, who have given their art or provided funds for the purchase of particular objects. This includes the University’s Curriculum Support Fund, which has enabled the museum to acquire a fine selection of Old Master prints, among other works, as well as The Joseph and Robert Cornell Memorial Foundation, which provided support for the purchase of a major Dürer print. Other works featured in the exhibition include collages and a box by Robert Cornell, paintings by Joan Mitchell and Hedda Sterne, a 17th century Dutch portrait and landscape, European and American old masters and modern artists, and contemporary works by Cuban, Chinese, Korean and American artists.
The museum is open free to the public Tuesday through Sunday, 1 to 5 p.m. Parking is available on Bayly Drive.