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The San Diego Museum of Art welcomes two new exhibitions
Egbert van Panderen, after Bartholomeus Spranger, Juno, ca. 1590. Engraving. Gift of Norman Leitman and Todd Butler, 2004.167.

SAN DIEGO, CA.- The San Diego Museum of Art announces the opening of two exhibitions, Divine Desire: Printmaking, Mythology and the Birth of the Baroque and Lalla Essaydi: Photographs, 2005–13. From Old Master engravings that modernized printmaking to contemporary photographs that challenge the representation of women, works from these exhibitions will highlight and be placed in the context of The San Diego Museum of Art’s Permanent Collection starting late March 2015.

Divine Desire: Printmaking, Mythology and the Birth of the Baroque
Featuring more than 70 exquisite engravings produced in Northern Europe and Italy in the late 16th and early 17th centuries, this exhibition features prints by leading artists of the era including Hendrick Goltzius, Jacob Matham and Albrecht Dürer. Produced with visually stunning and highly developed techniques, each print features imagery that revolves around the mythology of classical antiquity and the romantic entanglements of the gods and goddesses of the Greek and Roman pantheons.

The subject matter of these works often served a moralizing and instructive purpose, as the gods served as examples for mortals, demonstrating the significance of mythology during that time period. The images were also meant to entertain and amuse the public through comical, erotic and satirical representations of the norms and ideals of society.

Printmaking became a highly used medium for artists in the late 16th century because its portability and mass-production offered the rare opportunity to reach a broad audience. Divine Desire: Printmaking, Mythology and the Birth of the Baroque explores these creative achievements and what led to the development of the Baroque Age in Northern Europe.

The exhibition is composed primarily of works from The San Diego Museum of Art’s Permanent Collection, home to a high-quality printmaking collection. Strategic loans from other California collections come from the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Hammer Museum and University of San Diego.

Curated by Michael Brown, Ph.D., Associate Curator of European Art, Divine Desire: Printmaking, Mythology and the Birth of the Baroque will be on view at The San Diego Museum of Art from March 28 to June 30, 2015.

Lalla Essaydi: Photographs
Lalla Essaydi: Photographs features 10 large-scale photographs from Moroccan-born, New York–based photographer Lalla Essaydi. The internationally acclaimed artist is known for her work that explores the issues surrounding the role of women in Arab culture and their representations in the Western European artistic tradition.

The photographs are based on 19th-century Orientalist paintings, but work to subvert those traditional stereotyped and sexualized representations. In addition to their timely and provocative subject matter, Essaydi’s photographs are technically impressive. Each image requires weeks of preparation, as the architectural backdrops are carefully constructed, the text is composed and fabrics are dyed to match the setting in which they will appear. The entire field of the almost life-size photographs appears in sharp focus, a result of her use of a large-format camera and traditional film.

Lalla Essaydi: Photographs features ten works from three different series by the artist: Les Femmes du Maroc, Harem and Bullets Revisited. Curated by Marika Sardar, Associate Curator of Southern Asian and Islamic Art, the photographs will be presented throughout the Museum. Several works will be on display in a dedicated gallery, while others will be placed as interventions alongside the Museum’s Permanent Collection next to examples of historic Middle Eastern tilework and calligraphy, with related European paintings and as part of the discourse of Modern art.

Lalla Essaydi: Photographs will be on view at The San Diego Museum of Art from March 28 to August 1, 2015.

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National Maritime Museum creates a captivating, educational experience

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