Columbia Museum of Art

Photo © 1998 by Gary Knight and Associates

Columbia, SC



Intimate Expressions: Two Centuries of American Drawings


The exhibition, "Intimate Expressions: Two Centuries of American Drawings" will be on view at the Columbia Museum of Art from June 24 through August 13, 2000. This exhibition, drawn entirely from the collection of Dr. and Mrs. Philip Brewer of Columbus, Georgia, is comprised of over 100 American works-on-paper, including pencil drawings, silver point, gouaches, watercolors and monotypes. Visitors to the museum will have the opportunity to see a full spectrum of American drawings, from classical studies for great history paintings of the 19th century to startling contemporary works of the 20th century.

left to right: Charles-Balthazar-Julien Févret de Saint-Mémin (1770-1852), Portrait of Thomas Hillen, 1804, pencil, charcoal and chalk on paper; Thomas Cole (1801-1848), Study of a Blasted Tree, 1841, pencil and gouache on peper; Samuel Colman (1832-1920), Mount Sir MacDonald, watercolor and gouache on paper, 11 3/4 x 17 1/2 inches; Joseph Stella (1877-1946), Flowering Branch of Wiegelia, 1919, silverpoint and crayon on paper, 10 1/4 x 14 1/2 inches; Arthur Bowen Davies (1862-1928), Two Standing Female Nudes, pastel on paper, 16 7/8 x 11 1/2 inches; Ernest Lawson ( 1873-1939), Landscape, monotype in oil on paper, 9 x 12 inches (plate)

Among the many artists represented in the exhibition are Milton Avery, George Bellows, Charles Burchfield, Paul Cadmus, William Merritt Chase, Thomas Cole, John Singleton Copley, Philip Pearlstein and Benjamin West. Through drawings, the viewer can experience the artist's touch and style - the hand of the artist - and thus the essence of the work. "Beginning with the Italian Renaissance, drawing has formed a basis for all of the visual art," says Donald Keyes, former curator of paintings at the Georgia Museum of Art, the organizer of the exhibition. "This was no less true for American artists, particularly painters. Whether they created quasi-scientific documents, like the early landscape painters in New England and soon thereafter Far west or Romantic imagery, the making of drawings and sketches was a universally accepted operating mode for all trained American artists."

In the later 19th century, when artists sought to capture not the fixed details of nature, but rather images of light and color, watercolor and gouache (opaque watercolor) became common media. Even with the modern artists of the 20th century, drawings remained a fundamental and vital form of artistic expression, capturing the essence of the artist's inspiration.

An illustrated scholarly catalogue, with essays by Henry Adams and Douglas Dreishspoon and published by the Georgia Museum of Art, will accompany the exhibition.


Read more about the Columbia Museum of Art in Resource Library Magazine

Please click on thumbnail images bordered by a red line to see enlargements.

For further biographical information on selected artists cited above please see America's Distinguished Artists, a national registry of historic artists.

This page was originally published in Resource Library Magazine. Please see Resource Library's Overview section for more information. rev. 3/2/11

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