Media Advisory

British Drawings from the Cleveland Museum of Art

Monday, February 4, 2013
Rare opportunity to see masterworks by Britain's most celebrated artists of the 18th and 19th centuries

For more information, please contact:
Saeko Yamamoto, 216-707-6898, syamamoto [at] clevelandart.org
Caroline Guscott, 216-707-2261, cguscott [at] clevelandart.org

CLEVELAND (February 4, 2013) – The Cleveland Museum of Art presents British Drawings from the Cleveland Museum of Art, the first exhibition to showcase the collection of British drawings ranging from the 18th century through the Edwardian era. Visitors will have a rare opportunity to see more than 50 fragile, light sensitive drawings in graphite, ink, chalk, pastel and watercolor, revealing over 150 years of artistic achievement in Britain. Works by some of Britain’s best known artists, such as Thomas Gainsborough, William Blake, J.M.W. Turner, John Ruskin and Edward Burne-Jones will be on view. Organized by the Cleveland Museum of Art, the exhibition will be on view from February 10 through May 26, 2013.

“Numerous recent acquisitions, strategically chosen to elevate the quality and range of the collection of British drawings, will be shown alongside sheets acquired earlier in the museum’s history.” said Dr. Heather Lemonedes, curator of drawings. “More than 10 recently acquired drawings, including examples by John Flaxman, Daniel Gardner, William Turner of Oxford and Samuel Palmer, will be on view for the first time. The exhibition is greatly enhanced by a selection of promised gifts and loans made by generous benefactors to the museum.”

The exhibition is accompanied by British Drawings, a 151-page catalogue by Dr. Lemonedes. British Drawings, the first volume in a forthcoming series that will focus on light-sensitive treasures in the museum’s collection, is published by the Cleveland Museum of Art in association with D Giles Limited, London.

Related Programs

‘Poetry of the Earth’: The Golden Age of British Watercolors
Wednesday, March 13, 7:00 p.m.
Watercolor has always been considered a particularly British phenomenon. The availability of commercially made “paint-cakes” combined with easy portability made it the ideal medium for landscape painting. Recognizing watercolor’s potential for translucence and brilliance, artists in Britain captured the fleeting effects of light and atmosphere as had never been done in oil on canvas. Dr. Heather Lemonedes, curator of the exhibition British Drawings from the Cleveland Museum of Art, will explore the evolution of watercolor painting from John Robert Cozens’s “tinted drawings” of the last quarter of the 18th century, to J. M. W. Turner’s diaphanous seascapes painted at the height of the Victorian era, considered the pinnacle of achievement in the medium. Free.

Collection in Focus: From Blake to Beardsley: British Book Illustration in the Ingalls Library.
Wednesday, April 17, 1:30 – 3:00 p.m.
From the Romanticism of the early 19th century to the Aestheticism that heralded the coming of the 20th century, this program will feature four of the most significant illustrators of the period, William Blake, George Cruikshank, Arthur Rackham and Aubrey Beardsley. On display will be some of their most famous works that can be found in the Ingalls Library collection, including Blake's illustrations for The Complaint, and the Consolation or, Night Thoughts and Beardsley's most famous and controversial Yellow Book: An Illustrated Quarterly. Free. Registration required; limit 25. Call 216-707-2530 to register.

'The Fated Hand': Time and Transformation in the Work of Edward Burne-Jones
Friday, April 26, 7:00 p.m.
British artist Edward Burne-Jones labored for over twenty years on his vast painting cycle, The Legend of the Briar Rose 1870-92, transforming the traditional tale of Sleeping Beauty into a modern parable of artistic, social and political reawakening envisioned on an epic scale. Focusing on the Cleveland Museum of Art’s evocative watercolor study for the third canvas, The Garden Court 1870-75, Dr. Andrea Rager of Case Western Reserve University explores Burne-Jones’s quest to revive beauty amidst the ravages of the industrial age. Free.

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About the Cleveland Museum of Art

The Cleveland Museum of Art is renowned for the quality and breadth of its collection, which includes more than 63,000 artworks and spans 6,000 years of achievement in the arts. The museum is a significant international forum for exhibitions, scholarship and performing arts and is a leader in digital innovations. One of the top comprehensive art museums in the nation, recognized for its award-winning Open Access program and free of charge to all, the Cleveland Museum of Art is located in the University Circle neighborhood.

The museum is supported in part by residents of Cuyahoga County through a public grant from Cuyahoga Arts & Culture and made possible in part by the Ohio Arts Council (OAC), which receives support from the State of Ohio and the National Endowment for the Arts. The OAC is a state agency that funds and supports quality arts experiences to strengthen Ohio communities culturally, educationally and economically. For more information about the museum and its holdings, programs and events, call 888-CMA-0033 or visit cma.org.