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CLEVELAND (March 6, 2014) – The Cleveland Museum of Art presents Treasures on Paper, an exhibition showcasing the museum’s esteemed collection of prints and drawings. Since its founding in 1916, the Cleveland Museum of Art has built its collection with an emphasis on the quality, rarity and significance of individual works. Treasures on Paper presents a unique opportunity to see more than 70 exceptional European and American works on paper in mediums ranging from engraving, woodcut and etching to chalk, pencil and watercolor, dating from the 15th through the 19th centuries. Highlights include prints and drawings by masters such as Michelangelo, Albrecht Dürer, Rembrandt van Rijn, Winslow Homer, Edgar Degas, Paul Gauguin and Edvard Munch. Co-curated by Jane Glaubinger, Curator of Prints, and Heather Lemonedes, Curator of Drawings, Treasures on Paper will be on display Sunday, March 9 through Sunday, June 8, 2014 in the museum’s Prints and Drawings Galleries.
This exhibition of the museum’s most highly prized drawings and prints provides an overview of some of the significant moments in Western art history. From a rare group of 15th-century woodcuts and engravings to the powerful figure drawings by Michelangelo and Dürer, to plein air drawings of the Italian countryside that distinguished landscape as an independent genre, Treasures on Paper documents the progression of style and use of artistic materials in prints and drawings over four and a half centuries.
“Treasures on Paper acknowledges the foresight of curators throughout the museum’s history as well as the continuous generosity of the museum’s benefactors. The collection of prints and drawings has been immeasurably enriched by their wisdom and philanthropy,” said Heather Lemonedes, curator of drawings.
“The exhibition memorializes Louise S. Richards, curator of prints and drawings for 34 years—from 1952 until her retirement in 1986—who died recently. An astute scholar with wide-ranging knowledge and interests, she acquired many of the works on view. Her legacy is the museum’s outstanding collection of works on paper,” added Jane Glaubinger, curator of prints.
Among the most significant works on display is the Battle of the Nudes, an engraving by Antonio del Pollaiuolo, about 1470s-80s. One of the earliest works of Renaissance art to convincingly portray the figure in motion, this is the only known impression of the engraving’s first state, before the plate was re- engraved and printed with a more densely pigmented and blacker ink. A preparatory drawing by Michelangelo from 1510-11 for one of his 20 male nudes featured on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican, Study for the Nude Youth over the Prophet Daniel, is also a rare gem. The energy and monumentality of the drawn figure, whose body extends beyond the sheet, suggests the heroic athleticism of the master’s sculpture.
Additionally, Treasures on Paper features both prints and drawings by the most famous 16th century German master, Albrecht Dürer, and three luminous watercolors by Winslow Homer – an artist who created some of the most influential works in the history of the medium – as well as numerous works by one of the greatest draftsmen of all time, Edgar Degas. Looking toward the 20th century, visitors also have the opportunity to see a rare, early watercolor by Vincent van Gogh, a drawing and woodcut by Paul Gauguin from his two trips to Polynesia and a unique hand-colored woodcut by Edvard Munch.
Wednesday, May 28, 6:00 p.m.
Join Heather Lemonedes, Curator of Drawings, for an in-depth look at drawings from the museum’s collection by Michelangelo, Dürer, Rembrandt and Degas on view in Treasures on Paper.
Lecture: My Treasure Hunt
Wednesday, May 14, 7:00 p.m.
Jane Glaubinger, Curator of Prints, will give a ‘behind the scenes’ look at how the print collection took shape, how so many treasures were found and acquired. A fascinating story full of surprises and intrigue.