A Very Long Engagement
Nineteenth-Century Sculpture and Its Afterlives
Presenting more than a dozen statuettes from the Museum’s collection, this exhibition invites viewers to experience a century of European and American sculpture, dating from 1890 to 1990. The works have been selected and researched by Dr. Gülru Çakmak and her students in the seminar “Modernizing Sculpture from Canova to Duchamp,” offered at UMass Amherst in fall 2016. Through a semester-long study of these small-scale and tabletop sculptures, students made fascinating discoveries worth sharing beyond the classroom. You can find their final essays at the course website: scalar.usc.edu/works/modernizing-sculpture.
The works on view in the exhibition are not merely representational, but interactive. As one moves around Pierre Auguste Renoir’s bronze relief Danseuse au Tambourin, the figure appears to dance. Some works, such as Alfred Gilbert’s tiny, dazzling Offering to Hymen, prompt us to telescope our attention from the larger form to minute and semi-abstract details. Visitors to the exhibition will be rewarded by an intimate and prolonged engagement with the works on view. Slow down and look closely: these sculptures subtly perform their magic.
Curated by Gülru Çakmak, Assistant Professor of Nineteenth-Century European Art, University of Massachusetts Amherst
This exhibition is made possible by the Joyce Marcus Art Exhibition Fund.