CHARLESTON, SC.- The Gibbes Museum of Art
will present the work of renowned American artist James McNeill Whistler (1834-1903) in the exhibition Whistlers Travels, in the Rotunda Galleries from January 22, 2010 through May 16, 2010. The exhibition features 21 etchings and three lithographs from the Gibbes permanent collection and a local private collection. The etchings and lithographs in Whistlers Travels were executed during Whistlers excursions to the English countryside, France, Holland, and Venice, Italy.
In the summer of 1858, just three years after James McNeill Whistler arrived in Paris to pursue a profession in the arts, he embarked upon a walking tour of France and Germany. Armed with sketch materials and copper plates, Whistler created detailed drawings of the architecture and inhabitants of the small towns he encountered. Many of the works Whistler produced during this journey were published later that year in his first set of etchings titled Twelve Etchings from Nature, often referred to as the French Set. This successful foray into the graphic arts was the start of a life-long devotion to the print medium.
Throughout his career, Whistler turned to etching to interpret his surroundings and was renowned for his ability to find picturesque qualities in unlikely subjects. From 1859 and 1863, Whistler divided his time between France and England. During this same time period, Whistler made the first of many visits to the Netherlands, a destination, which over the course of his lifetime became one of his favorites. In 1879, Whistler traveled to Italy and created a series of twelve views of Venice that would eventually establish him in history as one of the worlds finest etchers.
Whistlers etchings and lithographs are key to telling the story of printmaking in America. We are delighted to showcase these wonderful objects, said Gibbes Executive Director Angela D. Mack.