Sargent, Whistler, and Venetian Glass: American Artists and the Magic of Murano
Smithsonian American Art Museum
through May 8, 2022
Gracing the Smithsonian American Art Museum is the new exhibition “Sargent, Whistler, and Venetian Glass: American Artists and the Magic of Murano.” It explores Americans’ engagement with Venice during the late 19th century, when anyone on the Grand Tour had to stop there.
Visitors found not only a floating city of palaces, museums, and churches, but also shops filled with brightly colored glass. The island of Murano’s production of glass boomed between 1860 and 1915 and its beauty led American artists to depict Italian glassmakers, as well as American patrons to buy superb examples of glass, mosaic, lace, and other expressions of Venetian skill.
On view now are many glass objects, plus an array of paintings, watercolors, and prints that encompass not only the show’s titular stars, John Singer Sargent and James McNeill Whistler, but also R.F. Blum, C.C. Coleman, Maria Oakey Dewing, Thomas Moran, Maxfield Parrish, and Maurice Prendergast.
The accompanying catalogue has been edited by Crawford Alexander Mann III, who organized the show, which will move to the Amon Carter Museum of American Art in Fort Worth (June 25–September 11, 2022) and finally Venice’s Ca’ Pesaro Galleria Internazionale d’Arte Moderna (October 15, 2022–January 8, 2023).
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