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Homer and Sargent: Watercolors, Prints and Drawings

DATES July 12, 1972 through August 27, 1972
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  • June 30, 1972 Two great cultural institutions, The Brooklyn Museum and The Metropolitan Museum of Art, have joined forces to present an exhibition of watercolors, prints, and drawings by two great artists, John Singer Sargent and Winslow Homer. HOMER AND SARGENT: WATERCOLORS, PRINTS AND DRAWINGS will open at The Brooklyn Museum on July 12 and remain on view through August 27 in the Robert E. Blum Gallery. Admission is free.

    Both museums are the fortunate owners of collections of watercolors by these two outstanding 19th century artists, and this delightful summer exhibition will present the best of the two collections together with a group of drawings by Sargent and a large selection of wood engravings and etchings by Homer. The joint exhibition comprised of 74 works by Sargent and 73 by Homer offers the viewer a rare opportunity to study in depth the works of these distinguished artists.

    The Brooklyn Museum’s collection of Homer watercolors spans 26 years, from 1878 to 1904, and includes some of Homer’s most luminous watercolors inspired by visits to Cuba, Nassau, Bermuda and Florida. Twelve of the watercolors were purchased from Homer’s elder brother shortly after the artist’s death and were part of his personal collection.

    The large group of wood engravings from the Metropolitan Museum dates back to Homer’s early career as an illustrator, which began with the staid Boston periodical Ballou's Pictorial Drawing-Room Companion and flourished in New York’s Harper's Weekly. Several of his Civil War engravings are on exhibit as well as three delightful scenes of winter sports in New York circa 1860. Many of Homer's etchings and watercolors served as sketches for larger paintings. The Brooklyn Museum’s watercolor "Shooting the Rapids" included in the exhibition served as the basis for the painting of the same title in the Metropolitan Museum’s collection which was one of the artist’s last works in oil.

    John Singer Sargent won world acclaim for his brilliant portraits, among them the striking full-length figure of Madame Gautreau, called Madame X, owned by the Metropolitan Museum. A sketch for this portrait is included in the exhibition as well as some of his vivid cityscapes and landscapes. He traveled extensively gathering material for his Boston Library murals, but biographers have also suggested that he might have desired to get away from the world of London society portrait commissions. Some of his most brilliant watercolors sprang from these trips to the continent and the Mediterranean and his views of the Alps, Spain, Venice and Palestine are among those from The Brooklyn Museum collection. These are well complemented by the selections from the Metropolitan Museum of Art which includes drawings and studies from the 80’s as well as works from the Florida trip in 1917 and the war years. A separate black and white catalogue for each artist of the works included in HOMER AND SARGENT: WATERCOLORS, PRINTS AND DRAWINGS is available for 25¢ apiece. For mail orders, please include an additional 10¢ for handling and postage.

    Brooklyn Museum Archives. Records of the Department of Public Information. Press releases, 1971 - 1988. 1972, 100-101
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