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Brooklyn Museum opens exhibition of rarely seen American drawings from its collection
Max Weber (American, born Russia, 1881–1961), Composition with Four Figures, 1910. Charcoal and pastel on laid paper, 24 1/4 x 18 1/4 in. (61.6 x 46.4 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Dick S. Ramsay Fund, 57.17.
BROOKLYN, NY.- Fine Lines: American Drawings from the Brooklyn Museum presents a selection of more than a hundred rarely seen drawings and sketchbooks produced between 1768 and 1945 from the Brooklyn Museum’s exceptional collection. The exhibition will feature the work of more than seventy artists, including John Singleton Copley, Stuart Davis, Thomas Eakins, William Glackens, Marsden Hartley, Winslow Homer, Edward Hopper, Eastman Johnson, Georgia O’Keeffe, John Singer Sargent, and Benjamin West. Among the works on display will be Gaston Lachaise’s Back of a Nude Woman (1929), Winslow Homer’s Two Girls in Field (1871), and William Merritt Chase’s Shinnecock Hills (circa 1895). Investigating the place of drawing within the broader history of American art before 1945, Fine Lines showcases a variety of subjects, styles, and practices and demonstrates the variety and vitality of the graphic arts in America across nearly two centuries.

The exhibition provides insights into why artists draw through a range of works: carefully transcribed anatomical, portrait, and nature studies; preparatory drawings; quick sketches capturing an artist’s impressions; and highly finished compositions made for display or reproduction. Organized into six thematic categories, Fine Lines draws comparisons among artists of diverse periods and artistic approaches. The exhibition includes one section on portraiture and two sections on the human figure: one focusing on the nude, and the other examining the clothed figure. A section considers narrative subjects and how artists craft a story through the integration of figures, objects, and setting. Natural and urban environments are the focus of two landscape sections. An additional conservation section investigates the distinctive properties of a variety of graphic materials and techniques.

Fine Lines: American Drawings from the Brooklyn Museum is organized by Karen A. Sherry, formerly Associate Curator of American Art, Brooklyn Museum. It is accompanied by a catalogue, published by the London-based firm D Giles Ltd. in association with the Brooklyn Museum, that is the first major publication on the Museum’s holdings of pre-1945 American drawings.





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