Jean Louis Ernest Meissonier (French, 1815-1891); Honors Afforded to a Victor Standing on a Pedestal, 1873; brush and ink with white heightning. Gift of Mrs. Edwin Howland Blashfield. (DF.14)

Works as Progress/Works in Progress: Drawing in 18th- and 19th-Century France

April 24, 2010 - October 31, 2010

The Williams College Museum of Art (WCMA) presents Works as Progress/Works in Progress: Drawing in 18th- and 19th-Century France, an exhibition featuring a selection of works on paper from the collection of Paul Hayes Tucker (Williams College Class of 1972) and the museum’s permanent collection. On view through October 31, 2010, the exhibition highlights the importance of drawing in the development of artistic traditions in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century France. A Season Premiere Party on May 14 at 7:00 pm will celebrate the opening of Works as Progress, in addition to Tristin Lowe: Mocha Dick, Tradition and Transition: Recent Chinese Art from the Collection, and the annual Williams College Studio Art Senior Exhibition. This event is free and open to the public.

Featuring 30 works on paper, Works as Progress demonstrates how drawings are often an essential part of the artistic process. Artists have used drawing to refine their skills, organize compositions, and to generate ideas for paintings and sculptures. This exhibition examines artist’s responses to the rigorous way figure drawing was taught at the Royal Academy of Painting and Sculpture in France, how artists experimented with drawing in their private studios, and also how everyday life outside the studio was depicted. This exhibition also presents comparisons that may expand our understanding of drawing, such as the relationship between drawing and printed media, the intimate and personal nature of the drawn portrait, and the repetition of subject matter. Included in the exhibition are a variety of artists, such as Eugène Delacroix, Jean-Léon Gérôme, Hubert Robert, and Edgar Degas, Georges Seurat, Thomas Couture, and Alexandre Cabanel.

This exhibition was organized by Williams College Graduate Students in the History of Art Amy Bridgeman ’11 and Charles Changduk Kang ’10 with Kathryn Price, Interim Associate Curator.

Photos available upon request.