Clark Society Preview: Drawn to Greatness

Clark Society Preview: Drawn to Greatness


February 2, 2018

6:00 PM-8:00 PM

Manton Research Center

Clark Society members are the first to view the Clark's presentation of 150 exceptional drawings from the Eugene V. Thaw Collection, one of the finest private collections in the world. Assembled by art dealer and collector Eugene V. Thaw and his wife Clare over more than six decades, the collection encompasses virtually the entire scope of Western art from the Renaissance to the modern era. It is a rare opportunity to view so many innovative milestones in one exhibition.

On view February 3–April 22, 2018, the exhibition showcase the collectors’ astounding eye for signature graphic statements and demonstrates drawing’s fundamental role in the creative process. The collection has long been promised to the Morgan Library & Museum, which has organized a special exhibition in honor of this remarkable gift and the Mr. Thaw’s ninetieth birthday. The only other venue to present this extraordinary collection, as directed by Mr. Thaw, is the Clark Art Institute.

The earliest works on display in Drawn to Greatness include preparatory sketches by Andrea Mantegna (1431–1506) and Fra Bartolomeo (1472–1517), and the exhibition closes with major sheets by Jackson Pollock (1912–1956) and Ellsworth Kelly (1923–2015). Between these two poles, the exhibition explores the revitalized interest in observation and imagination in the seventeen century; the development of new types of narrative expression in Italy in the 1700s; drawings from the Romantic Age; revolutionary artists; and the work of the Impressionists and Post-Impressionists.

Attesting to the strength of the collection, the expansive exhibition spotlights studies, independent works, illustrated letters, and sketchbooks. Landscapes, portraits, still lifes, figure studies, and allegories and tales from mythology and the Bible by more than ninety artists are represented, including multiple works by artists the Thaws collected in depth. These artists include Rembrandt van Rijn (1606–1669), Francisco Goya (1746–1828), Paul Cézanne (1839–1906), and Edgar Degas (1834–1917).

Image: Paul Gauguin, Study for La Ronde des Petites Bretonnes (detail), 1888. Pastel and charcoal, with transparent and opaque watercolor, on cream-colored laid paper. Thaw Collection, 2010.136