Fairfield University art exhibitions explore the world of the printmaker: January 23-April 4, 2014


"Reflections & Undercurrents: Ernest Roth and Printmaking in Venice, 1900-1940" at Walsh Art Gallery;
"In the Wake of the Butterfly: James McNeill Whistler and His Circle in Venice"
at Bellarmine Museum of Art
Fairfield University, Fairfield, CT

Image: PrintmakingExploring the world of the printmaker as artist, Fairfield University's Thomas J. Walsh Art Gallery and Bellarmine Museum of Art present concurrent exhibitions, Reflections and Undercurrents: Ernest Roth and Printmaking in Venice, 1900-1940, at the Walsh Art Gallery, and In the Wake of the Butterfly: James McNeill Whistler and His Circle in Venice,at the Bellarmine Museum of Art, with both shows on view January 23 through April 4, 2014. Reflections & Undercurrents: Ernest Roth and Printmaking in Venice, 1900-1940, features the work of Louis Ernest David Roth (1879–1964), one of the most significant American etchers of the first half of the twentieth century, while In the Wake of the Butterfly: James McNeill Whistler and His Circle in Venice explores the work of Roth's precursors working in Venice.An opening reception, free and open to the public at both venues, takes place on Thursday, January 23, 2014, from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Exhibition sponsors are the National Endowment for the Humanities, Morris Media Group, and Whole Foods Market.

Ernest Roth's work ranges from important views of New York and Paris to exotic images of Istanbul and Segovia. His most important achievements, however, are his prints of Italy, in particular the approximately forty-five views he did of Venice between 1905 and 1941. In the etchings on view in Reflections and Undercurrents: Ernest Roth and Printmaking in Venice, 1900-1940, at the Walsh Art Gallery, Roth employed a supple line and rich tone that capture the essence of Venetian architecture in the clear light of the lagoon. Roth's Venetian masterworks have never been the subject of an independent exhibition, catalogue, or book. Many have never been reproduced. This exhibition of just over one hundred works brings together thirty-five of Roth's most important Venetian views, including variant printings of the plates, preparatory drawings, and the plates themselves, with prints by his most important artistic contemporaries.

The exhibition divides the etchings of Roth and his contemporaries by subject matter, according to the scene represented. This enables the viewer to consider how various artists approached the same subject. The scenes are divided into the following neighborhoods, monuments, and building types: (1) The Piazza San Marco and the Ducal Palace; (2) Canals and Bridges; (3) The Grand Canal and the Rialto; (4) The Church of the Salute; (5) The Riva degli Schiavoni and the Bacino; (6) Watergates and Portals; (7) Calle and Buildings; and (8) Squares and Courtyards.

In addition to works by Roth, these sections feature the etchings of John Taylor Arms (American, 1887-1953), Fabio Mauroner (1884-1948), Herman Armour Webster (American, 1878-1970), Sydney Litten (British, 1887-1949), James McBey (Scottish, 1883-1959), Donald Shaw MacLaughlan (Canadian, 1876-1952), and Jan Vondrous (Czech-American, 1884-1956).

The exhibition In the Wake of the Butterfly: James McNeill Whistler and His Circle in Venice, on view concurrently at Fairfield University's Bellarmine Museum of Art, is an exploration of the works of Ernest Roth's nineteenth-century precursors. This section considers the etchings of Venice by James McNeill Whistler (American, 1834-1903), Otto Bacher (American, 1856-1909), John Marin (American, 1870-1953), Mortimer Menpes (Australian, 1860–1938), and Joseph Pennell (American, 1860-1926), and includes two paintings of Venice on loan from the Mattatuck Museum in Waterbury: one attributed to John Singer Sargent (American, 1856-1925) and the other by Connecticut Impressionist painter, Julian Alden Weir (American, 1852-1919).

Both exhibitions were co-curated by Eric Denker, Ph.D., senior lecturer at the National Gallery of Art. Reflections & Undercurrentsis a touring exhibition organized by THE TROUT GALLERY/Dickinson College.

In addition to the works on view, the Bellarmine Museum of Art, in collaboration with Fairfield University's Information Technology Services, has produced a new "app" that will allow visitors to these exhibitions not only to geo-locate the sites featured in the exhibitions but also visit virtually these spots today to see how they have changed.

A variety of programs related to both exhibitions is scheduled, including: Family Day: "Come explore printmaking!" Best for ages 4-10, Feb. 8, 2014, 1 p.m.-4 p.m., Walsh Art Gallery; Film Screenings: "Francesco's Venice - Blood," Jan. 28 and Feb. 27, 2014, "Francesco's Venice - Beauty," Feb. 4 and March 6, 2014, "Francesco's Venice - Death," Feb. 11 and March 13, 2014, "Francesco's Venice - Sex," Feb. 18 and March 20, 2014, Bellarmine Museum of Art, smART classroom, 3 p.m.-4 p.m.;Lecture: "American Artists in Early 20th-century Venice," Dr. Eric Denker, Senior Lecturer, National Gallery of Art, February 25, 2014, 5 p.m., Bellarmine Hall, Diffley Board Room. The University is also offering a six-week Thursday evening printmaking course designed to complement the exhibitions entitled "Introduction to Printmaking: Etching and Drypoint" beginning on Jan. 30, 2014 (information:  [203] 254-4000, ext. 2688), and a printmaking demonstration on February 20, 2014, 5 p.m. -6 p.m., Loyola Hall, Room 20 (lower level).

The Bellarmine Museum of Art is open Monday through Friday, 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and on select Saturdays (see our calendar for details). Admission is always free. For further information, call the Bellarmine Museum of Art at (203) 254-4046, or visit www.fairfield.edu/museum. The Bellarmine Museum of Art is located in Bellarmine Hall on the campus of Fairfield University, 1073 North Benson Road in Fairfield, Connecticut.

The Thomas J. Walsh Art Gallery is open Tuesday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., as well as one hour prior to curtain and during intermission at all Quick Center events. Admission is always free. For further information and directions, call (203) 254-4062, or visit www.fairfield.edu/walsh. The Walsh Art Gallery is located in the Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts on the campus of Fairfield University at 1073 North Benson Road in Fairfield, Connecticut. Entrance to the Quick Center is through the Barlow Road gate at 200 Barlow Road. Free, secure parking is available. Access for people with disabilities is available throughout the Quick Center. Fairfield University is located off exit 22 of Interstate-95.

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Media Contact: Mike Horyczun, (203) 254-4000 ext. 2647, mhoryczun@fairfield.edu

Posted on December 13, 2013

Vol. 46, No. 140