NEW HAVEN.- Joseph Wright of Derby (1734-1797) is one of the most significant and admired British artists of the eighteenth century. Prized by his contemporaries for the originality of his "candlelight" paintings, Wright was also a distinguished portraitist. From 1768 to 1771, he lived and worked in Liverpool, then Britain's fastest-growing port and a burgeoning cultural and economic center. Wright's success in Liverpool made him the first great British artist to establish a career outside of London.
Joseph Wright of Derby in Liverpool is the first major exhibition to examine Wright's creative development in Liverpool at the start of the citys cultural renaissance and growing status as a major world port. The exhibition features approximately eighty works, including more than forty paintings and drawings by Wright, as well as works by his circle of friends and pupils in Liverpool. It also provides a look at the city during a period of economic expansion and political change.
Joseph Wright of Derby in Liverpool has been co-organized by the Yale Center for British Art and the Walker Art Gallery, National Museums Liverpool. The exhibition coincides with a two-year celebration of Liverpool's cultural heritage, the 800th anniversary of its charter in 2007, and its status as European Capital of Culture in 2008. The Center is the only US venue.