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Jose Maria Velasco 1840-1912

DATES January 11, 1945 through February 25, 1945
ORGANIZING DEPARTMENT European Painting and Sculpture
COLLECTIONS European Art
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  • September 18, 1944 The Brooklyn Museum opened the fall exhibition season on September 7 with a large exhibition entitled POSADA: PRINTMAKER TO THE MEXICAN PEOPLE. Some six hundred prints, blocks and photostat enlargements are assembled in four galleries on the second floor and will remain current through October 15.

    Five painting exhibitions are scheduled: OIL IN WATER COLOR, September 29-November 12, will give a picture of the oil industry at war by four well known painters. Recently Standard Oil Company (New Jersey) asked Reginald Marsh and Adolf Dehn to visit some of their operations and to tell in terms of the brush what they saw. Two other painters - David Fredenthal and Millard Sheets - were asked to paint the drama of moving oil to the fronts. The show will comprise 36 such water colors by the four artists.

    EUROPEAN PAINTINGS FROM THE MUSEUM COLLECTION will go on view November 8 and remain current through January 1. These paintings, among the finest in the Museum collection, were returned from storage last December.

    PAINTINGS BY CHILDREN will be on view from December 7 through January 14, showing the remarkable work being done in the Museum’s Painting Class for Talented Children.

    From January 11 through February 25 an exhibition of paintings and drawings by the distinguished Mexican artist JOSE MARIA VELASCO, lent by the Direccion General de Educacion Estetica, will be presented in the Special Exhibitions Gallery.

    The 13TH BIENNIAL INTERNATIONAL WATER COLOR show will open on March 14 and continue through May 13.

    The large 1944 EXHIBITION OF THE PHOTOGRAPHIC SOCIETY OF AMERICA will open on October 27 and remain current through November 19. In connection with this exhibition, the Museum has scheduled two smaller photographic shows MODERN DUTCH ARCHITECTURE, November 3 - December 10, and RECENT PHOTOGRAPHIC ACCESSIONS, October 20 - December 3.

    MODERN DUTCH PRINTS will be shown in the small print gallery on the second floor from October 20 - December 3.

    A loan collection of CHINESE CERAMICS, never placed on exhibition before, will be on view from December 14 through February 4.

    In addition to these exhibitions, plans are being made for a number of smaller shows which will be announced later.

    Brooklyn Museum Archives. Records of the Department of Public Information. Press releases, 1942 - 1946. 07-09/1944, 092.
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  • January 1, 1945 The Brooklyn Museum, together with the Philadelphia Museum of Art, is holding an important exhibition of paintings and drawings by the Mexican landscapist Jose Maria Velasco. The exhibition will include 110 items of which one half are oil paintings and the second half drawings and watercolors.

    Jose Maria Velasco was born in 1840 near Mexico City. He was the foremost Mexican painter of the 19th century and is one of the principal forerunners of the present-day Mexican school. Considered as pure landscapist, he is the finest the Western Hemisphere has yet produced.

    The son of a shawl weaver, he was brought up and trained entirely in the Art Academies of Mexico City. At twenty he won his first prize - a pension of 15 pesos monthly to continue his studies of anatomy and perspective. His life thereafter was a long series of medals and awards both in his native country, in the United States and in Europe. He visited the Centennial in Philadelphia in 1876 and the World’s Fair in Paris in 1889, at which time he also travelled in England, Germany, Italy and Spain. In 1893 he went to the World’s Fair in Chicago where he exhibited and received a prize.

    The rest of his life was spent in his home at Guadalupe, now a part of Mexico City but at that time a suburb. Here he painted the rocks and trees, the flowers and above all the sky of his beloved Valley of Mexico. He made intensive studies of botany, geology, anatomy, mathematics and perspective. He wrote and illustrated a book on the flowers of the Valley of Mexico, as well as a treatise on perspective for which he made many sensitive drawings of great originality. The Valley of Mexico, over a mile and a half high, was his recurring theme and of his known three hundred oils, over two hundred are varying views of this great plateau completely surrounded by high mountains and dominated by the two volcanoes Popocatepatl and Ixtaccihuatl.


    Brooklyn Museum Archives. Records of the Department of Public Information. Press releases, 1942 - 1946. 04-06/1945, 001.
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  • January 11, 1945 The Brooklyn Museum, together with the Philadelphia Museum of Art, is holding an important exhibition of paintings and drawings by the Mexican landscapist Jose Maria Velasco. The exhibition will include 110 items of which one half are oil paintings and the second half drawings and water colors.

    Jose Maria Velasco was born in 1840 near Mexico City. He was the foremost Mexican painter of the 19th century and is one of the principal forerunners of the present-day Mexican school. Considered as pure landscapist, he is the finest the Western Hemisphere has yet produced.

    The son of a shawl weaver, he was brought up and trained entirely in the Art Academies of Mexico City. At twenty he won his first prize - a pension of 15 pesos monthly to continue his studies of anatomy and perspective. His life thereafter was a long series of medals and awards both in his native country, in the United States and in Europe. He visited the Centennial in Philadelphia in 1876 and the World’s Fair in Paris in 1889, at which time he also travelled in England, Germany, Italy and Spain. In 1893 he went to the World’s Fair in Chicago where he exhibited and received a prize.

    The rest of his life was spent in his home at Guadalupe, now a part of Mexico City but at that time a suburb. Here he painted the rocks and trees, the flowers and above all the sky of his beloved Valley of Mexico. He made intensive studies of botany, geology, anatomy, mathematics and perspective. He wrote and illustrated a book on the flowers of the Valley of Mexico, as well as a treatise on perspective for which he made many sensitive drawings of great originality. The Valley of Mexico, over a mile and a half high, was his recurring theme and of his known three hundred oils, over two hundred are varying views of this great plateau completely surrounded by high mountains and dominated by the two volcanoes Popocatepetl and Ixtaccihuatl.

    He was an invalid the last decade of his life which forced him to give up the large canvases characteristic of his earlier periods and turn to the more easily handled postcard size pictures. His death occurred in 1912 and while he founded no school he had many imitators though none attained his stature.

    His memory was somewhat obscured first by the World War and later by the Renaissance of Mexican Art of the twenties. A large retrospective exhibition in Mexico City in 1942, however, reinstated him in his rightful position as an important part of the contributing stream of American Art. The Philadelphia-Brooklyn Exhibition is his first large showing in the United States.

    The exhibition will open to the public at the Brooklyn Museum on Thursday, January 11 and continue through February 25, 1945. The Museum is open weekdays from 10 to 5, and on Sundays and holidays from 1 to 5.

    PRESS PREVIEW: MONDAY, JANUARY 8, from 10 to 4:30.

    Brooklyn Museum Archives. Records of the Department of Public Information. Press releases, 1942 - 1946. 01-06_1945, 099-100
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