Openings & Closings: Exhibitions, Shows, Fairs 11/13/19–11/20/19

Jenamarie Boots Exhibitions

Le Courrier Français: Exhibition of 1,200 Original Drawings [Le Courrier français: Exposition de douze cents dessins originaux] by Jules Chéret, 1891. Color lithograph. Milwaukee Art Museum, promised gift of James and Susee Wiechmann. Photo by John R. Glembin.

Silk and Jade: Chinese Aristocratic Treasures at the Phoenix Art Museum, to November 17

Whether for ritual or adornment, jade is a stone that enlivens. The same can be said about the luster and drape of silk. Smooth, soft, and glossy; these two materials complement one another perfectly. The particularly fine, aristocratic examples of both – from bowls and vases to clothing and traditional paintings – are arranged in an equally enlivening manner, but not for much longer!

High Chest by Eliphalet Chapin, 1775-85. Cherry and pine. Wadsworth Atheneum, Museum of Art, gift of the Society for Savings, founded by Daniel Wadsworth in 1819, and Bank of Boston Connecticut. Photos by Gavin Ashworth.

The Mathematics of Elegance: An Icon of Early Connecticut Furniture at the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, November 20 to January 12, 2020

Sometime around 1775, the Connecticut cabinetmaker Eliphalet Chapin crafted a high chest pleasing to the eye and mind. Not one element is half-considered. Even the pediment, which has a fantastic flourish, was created through a series of careful compass measurements; proving that the analytical and rational mind is no less capable of splendid artistry. (Not that we ever had any doubt.)

Painting the Classics: Japanese Screens at the Freer|Sackler, to November 17

Screens, ubiquitous features of Japanese domestic life, became the perfect canvases for early modern artists to reimagine classical Japanese narratives and poetry. The three exhibitions comprising Painting the Classics offer visitors the opportunity to explore these “old-is-new-again” Momoyama and Edo period productions.

Latonia by Charles W. Waite, 1894. Oil on canvas, 36 by 72 inches. Speed Art Museum.

Tales from the Turf: The Kentucky Horse, 1825–1950 at the Speed Art Museum, November 15 to March 21, 2020

There are few subjects with more enduring appeal than the horse. Our equine favorites are captured at the Speed in paintings, sculpture, photographs, drawings, prints, and manuscripts devoted to the Bluegrass state. Viewers are invited not only to consider the images as records of an agricultural and aristocratic pastime, but a link to the history, mythology, and spirit of Kentucky.

Travels on Paper at the Clark Art Institute, November 16 to February 9, 2020

Long before the days of jet travel and Instagram, the way most people saw the world outside their own was through the scenic views and landscapes painted by artists as they journeyed around the globe. The Clark’s exhibition features 43 inspiring and exotic renderings from artists that include Camille Corot, Robert Macpherson, Alexandre-Gabriel Decamps, John La Farge, Thomas Moran, and Félix Teynard.

Chalice by Liberty and co., ca. 1890. Pewter and glass, 6 by 5 by 5 inches. Flint Institute of Arts, gift of Janis and William Wetsman.

Useful and Beautiful: Decorative Arts Highlights at the Flint Institute of Arts, November 16 to July 26, 2020

Only in Western culture is a distinction made between the “fine arts”—usually taken to mean paintings and sculpture—and “decorative arts” such as ceramics and glassmaking. The latter usually carries less esteem, but not at the Flint Institute. On view are vases, teapots, dinnerware, candlesticks, musical instruments, and more, from across stylistic periods and the spectrum of materials from earthenware and metal to glass and wood.

Battle Scene by unknown artist, 17th century. Gold and color on paper, 59 1/4 x 147 1/16 x 147 1/16 inches. Freer|Sackler, gift of George Jackson Eder.

Decorative Arms: Treasures from the Robert M. Lee Collection at the Nevada Museum of Art, November 16 to February 16, 2020

An engineer, explorer, and wildlife conservationist, Robert Morton Lee was also a renowned collector historic weaponry. On display are some 100 works dating to the 1500s including suits of armor, antique firearms, swords, and modern weapons. Of particular note are those arms that manifest a blend of artistic vision and the collaboration among all artisans involved in their making: goldsmiths, silversmiths, and engravers.

Noreen Super Color Rinse print, designed by Herbert Bayer, ca. 1953. Offset lithograph. Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum.

Herbert Bayer: Bauhaus Master at the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, opens November 16

Much of the way we communicate visually today—though image, symbol, and type—is due to  Herbert Bayer. The Austrian-born polymath was both a student and a teacher at the Bauhaus, and worked in fields that included photography, painting and sculpture. But Bayer is best-known for his graphic design and typography—the focus of the Cooper-Hewitt exhibition. On view will be Bayer’s celebrated infographics, book designs, advertisements, posters, magazine layouts, and other ephemera.

Mamluk Revival Metalwork from The Touma Collection Presented by Community Trust Bank at the Huntington Museum of Art, November 16 to February 9, 2020

In the course its existence from roughly 1250 to 1517, artisans of the Mamluk realm of the Middle East produced a stunning array of visual and decorative artworks. Their metalwork—chiefly brass engraved and inlaid with gold, copper, and silver—was particularly remarkable and enjoyed a vogue among nineteenth-century collectors. Renewed interest prompted modern reproductions of great artistic merit in their own right. The Mamluk Revival works on view represent a dialogue between medieval and modern craftsmen.

Chrysanthemum bowl with handles in the form of bats, unknown artist, 18th century. Nephrite jade. Pheonix Art Museum, museum purchase with funds provided by Asian Arts Council in honor of Marilyn and Roy Papp in recognition of their many years of contributions to Asian Art at the Museum.

A Modern Vision: European Masterworks from the Phillips Collection at the Milwaukee Art Museum, November 15 to March 22, 2020

“Masterworks” is no exaggeration; this exhibition features 50 works from such artists as Edouard Manet, Gustave Caillebotte, Claude Monet, Berthe Morisot, Vincent van Gogh, Paul Cézanne, Edgar Degas, Pierre Bonnard, Wassily Kandinsky, Amedeo Modigliani, and Pablo Picasso. The collection is a uniquely curated blend of what collector Duncan Phillips considered “congenial spirits” from across time and place. Consider the show an artistic salon, of sorts.

Petite Posters: Jules Chéret and Le Courrier français at the Milwaukee Art Museum, to November 17

The father of the poster advertisement, Jules Chéret, is celebrated in this tidy exhibition of some 20 works. Particular attention is paid to Chéret’s relationship with Le Courrier français, the weekly journal that published and promoted his poster designs andfor whom he in turn designed  advertisements that are works of art.

Jenamarie Boots