Museum Announces Out of the Kress Vaults: Women in Sacred Renaissance Painting

Museum Announces Out of the Kress Vaults: Women in Sacred Renaissance Painting

El Greco, The Holy Family with Saint Anne and the Infant John the Baptist, ca. 1595-1600, oil on canvas. National Gallery of Art, Washington, Samuel H. Kress Collection, 1959.9.4

El Greco, The Holy Family with Saint Anne and the Infant John the Baptist, ca. 1595-1600, oil on canvas. National Gallery of Art, Washington, Samuel H. Kress Collection, 1959.9.4

Opening Sept. 15, the exhibition features Italian Renaissance paintings and is co-curated by undergraduates.

Fairfield University Art Museum is pleased to announce that Out of the Kress Vaults: Women in Sacred Renaissance Painting will open on the evening of September 15 and run through December 17, 2022.

Curated by assistant professor of art history and visual culture Michelle DiMarzo, PhD, Out of the Kress Vaults: Women in Sacred Renaissance Painting explores representations of femininity and virtue in Italian Renaissance paintings of the Virgin Mary, female saints, and nuns. Ranging from small, devotional images intended for the highly gendered spaces of the Renaissance home, to large altarpieces originally on display in churches, these artworks intertwine depictions of idealized beauty with messages of virtue and piety. Women are presented as models of virtue and devotion for emulation — and admiration — by their Renaissance viewers.

Out of the Kress Vaults: Women in Sacred Renaissance Painting is the first exhibition to be co-curated with undergraduate students. With the generous support of the Samuel H. Kress Foundation, Dr. DiMarzo led an undergraduate seminar in Spring 2021 with the goal of developing an exhibition inspired by the museum’s own Samuel H. Kress Collection, a group of 10 mostly Italian Renaissance and Baroque paintings.

The presence of two Italian paintings of the Madonna and Child inspired the exhibition’s theme; students then worked with Dr. DiMarzo and museum staff to develop an exhibition proposal and draft loan requests for paintings in Kress Collections at other museums and academic institutions. They focused on bringing works that are typically held in storage at their home institutions — the “Kress Vaults” of the title — into the galleries at Fairfield University.

Lenders to the exhibition include the National Gallery of Art, the Samuel H. Kress Foundation, the Harvard Art Museums, the Austin Art Center at Trinity College, the Mead Art Museum at Amherst College, and the Lowe Art Museum, University of Miami.

Fairfield University Art Museum Executive Director Carey Weber noted, “We are very excited to be presenting our first exhibition co-curated with Fairfield students. It was such a unique opportunity for them to get a hands-on understanding of what goes into planning an exhibition, especially one featuring Old Master paintings.”

Generous support for the exhibition comes from the Samuel H. Kress Foundation and the Humanities Institute of Fairfield University.

The exhibition will open with a lecture by Dr. DiMarzo on Thursday, September 15, 2022 at 5 p.m. in the Diffley Board Room of Bellarmine Hall.

The exhibition will be on view in the museum’s Bellarmine Hall Galleries, and will also be accessible through the museum’s website as a video tour, Matterport virtual tour, and audio guide. The written materials for the exhibition will be available bilingually in Spanish and English, with translations provided by Laura Gasca Jiménez, assistant professor of Spanish and translation studies.

In conjunction with the exhibition, the Fairfield University Art Museum has organized a full roster of public programs that will be presented in person and, where indicated, online via thequicklive.com.

Exhibition Programming:

Thursday, September 15 | 5 p.m.

Opening Night Lecture: Out of the Kress Vaults

Curator and Assistant Professor of Art History & Visual Culture Michelle DiMarzo, PhD

Bellarmine Hall, Diffley Board Room and livestreamed via thequicklive.com

Thursday, September 15 | 6-8 p.m.

Exhibition Opening Night Reception

Bellarmine Hall Galleries and Great Hall

Monday, September 19 | 5 p.m.

Musical Performance: Renaissance A cappella

Bellarmine Hall Great Hall

Thursday, September 22 | 11 a.m. (in person) and 12 noon (online)

Art in Focus: El Greco, The Holy Family, ca. 1595-1600

Bellarmine Hall Galleries and online via thequicklive.com

Thursday, October 13 | 5 p.m.

Lecture: The Paintings Conservation Program of the Samuel H. Kress Foundation

Dianne Dwyer Modestini, clinical professor for the Kress Program in Paintings Conservation at the Conservation Center of the Institute of Fine Arts, NYU
Bellarmine Hall, Diffley Board Room

Part of the Edwin L. Weisl Jr. Lectureships in Art History, funded by the Robert Lehman Foundation
 

Saturday, October 15 | 12 Noon

Exhibition Tour: Out of the Kress Vaults: Women in Sacred Renaissance Painting

Bellarmine Hall Galleries

Tuesday, October 18 | 5 p.m.

Lecture: The Tondo Tradition in Renaissance Painting

Associate Professor of Arts Kim Butler Wingfield, PhD, American University
Bellarmine Hall, Diffley Board Room and livestreamed on thequicklive.com

Part of the Edwin L. Weisl Jr. Lectureships in Art History, funded by the Robert Lehman Foundation

Tuesday, November 8 | 5 p.m.

Lecture: Domestic Devotion and Renaissance Art

Jacqueline Marie Musacchio, Professor of Art History, Wellesley College

Bellarmine Hall, Diffley Board Room and livestreamed on thequicklive.com

Part of the Edwin L. Weisl, Jr. Lectureships in Art History, funded by the Robert Lehman Foundation

Saturday, November 12 | 12 noon

Exhibition Tour: Out of the Kress Vaults: Women in Sacred Renaissance Painting

Bellarmine Hall Galleries

Thursday, November 17 | 11 a.m. (in person) and 12 noon (online)

Art in Focus: Battista and Dosso Dossi, The Flight into Egypt, ca. 1520-30

Bellarmine Hall Galleries and online via thequicklive.com

 

Saturday, December 10 | 12 noon

Exhibition Tour: Out of the Kress Vaults: Women in Sacred Renaissance Painting

Bellarmine Hall Galleries

Saturday, December 10

Family Day: Mothers and Children in Renaissance Art

Learn more about the Fairfield University Art Museum at fairfield.edu/museum

Tags:  Top Stories,  College of Arts & Sciences

Last modified: 08-25-22 11:05 PM

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