J.M.W. Turner

October 1, 2007 – January 6, 2008

West Building, Main Floor, Galleries 72 through 82

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    The Burning of the Houses of Lords and Commons, 16th October, 1834, 1835, Philadelphia Museum of Art, The John Howard McFadden Collection, 1928

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    The Junction of the Thames and the Medway, 1807, oil on canvas, Widener Collection, 1942.9.87

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    Mortlake Terrace, 1827, oil on canvas, Andrew W. Mellon Collection, 1937.1.109

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    Rotterdam Ferry-Boat, 1833, oil on canvas, Ailsa Mellon Bruce Collection, 1970.17.135

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    Approach to Venice, 1844, oil on canvas, Andrew W. Mellon Collection, 1937.1.110

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    Venice: The Dogana and San Giorgio Maggiore, 1834, oil on canvas, Widener Collection, 1942.9.85

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    Keelmen Heaving in Coals by Moonlight, 1835, oil on canvas, Widener Collection, 1942.9.86

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    The Evening of the Deluge, c. 1843, oil on canvas, Timken Collection, 1960.6.40

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    The Burning of the Houses of Lords and Commons, October 16, 1834, 1835, The Cleveland Museum of Art, Bequest of John L. Severance


Overview: This comprehensive survey of the work of J. M. W. Turner included 147 paintings and watercolors and 1 drawing by the artist. Many of the works were selected from Tate Britain and others were on loan from public and private collections in Great Britain and North America. The works were organized in chronological sections highlighting stages in the artist's career. His largest painting and only royal commission, The Battle of Trafalgar, 21 October 1805, was loaned to the exhibition from the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich, England. 12 paintings and watercolors depicted the burning of the Houses of Parliament on October 16, 1834. The final section of the installation was devoted to the artist's unfinished works, which had not been exhibited during his lifetime.

The department of exhibition programs produced J.M.W. Turner, a 30-minute documentary film narrated by Jeremy Irons. The film was shown continuously in the West Building, Ground Floor, Project Room during the exhibition and was broadcast on Maryland Public Television. An audio tour was narrated by National Gallery of Art Director Earl A. Powell with commentary by exhibition curators Ian Warrell and Franklin Kelly. Voices of London, a concert of 18th- and 19th-century English composers, was presented on October 14.

Organization: The exhibition was organized by the National Gallery of Art, Washington, the Dallas Museum of Art, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, in association with Tate Britain, London. Curators were Franklin Kelly, senior curator of American and British paintings, National Gallery of Art, Washington; Dorothy Kosinski, senior curator of painting and sculpture and The Barbara Thomas Lemmon Curator of European Art, Dallas Museum of Art; and Gary Tinterow, Engelhard Curator in Charge of the Department of 19th-Century, Modern, and Contemporary Art at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, in association with Ian Warrell, curator of 18th- and 19th-century British art, Tate Britain.

Sponsor: The exhibition at the National Gallery of Art was sponsored by The Exhibition Circle of the National Gallery of Art. It was supported by Access Industries. Bank of America was the national sponsor. The exhibition was supported by an indemnity from the Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities. The film was was made possible by the HRH Foundation.

Attendance: 237,851

Catalog: J. M. W. Turner, edited by Ian Warrell with an essay by Franklin Kelly. London: Tate Publishing, 2007.

Brochure: J. M. W. Turner, by Margaret Doyle. Washington DC: National Gallery of Art, 2007.

Other Venues: Dallas Museum of Art, February 10–May 18, 2008
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, June 24–September 21, 2008

Image: Joseph Mallord William Turner, Venice: The Dogana and San Giorgio Maggiore, 1834, oil on canvas, Widener Collection, 1942.9.85

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