Release Date: September 21, 2007
Historical engravings of scenic Great Britain will be on view September 22, 2007 through February 24, 2008; complements “J.M.W. Turner” exhibition, October 1, 2007 through January 6, 2008 at National Gallery of Art
Washington, DC—The British aristocracy’s love of the countryside will be revealed in British Picturesque Landscapes, a focus installation of engravings and colored prints of scenic Great Britain from late 18th- and early 19th-century books, including three engravings of Turner paintings. Exceptional images from 19 books will be on view from September 22, 2007 through February 24, 2008 in the West Building, ground floor, gallery G21.
The exhibition will be divided into four display cases. The first will contain engravings after works by Turner, including one from The Turner Gallery: A Series of One Hundred and Twenty Engravings from the Works of the Late J.M.W. Turner (1878). The second case will present travel books authored by William Gilpin (1724–1804), featuring bucolic country scenes of the Scottish Highlands, of Wales, and along the River Wye.
The third case will include charming landscapes and seascapes from books by Samuel Ireland (d. 1800), Louis Simond (1767–1831), and Rudolph Ackermann (1764–1834). The final case will feature prints of country manors. These landscapes show how humans intervene to alter and re-create nature. On view will be two books by John Claudius Loudon (1783–1843), with before-and-after engravings used by this landscape architect to promote his designs. The Loudon volumes were part of a recent acquisition from the Leo and Grega Daly Fund for Architectural Books. Two books in the case present views of South Winfield Manor and Kenilworth.
The curator is Neal Turtell, executive librarian, National Gallery of Art.
Library and Rare Books Collection
The National Gallery of Art library contains more than 350,000 books and periodicals, including more than 8,000 volumes in the Rare Book Collection, with an emphasis on Western art from the Middle Ages to the present. Founded in 1941, the library moved to the East Building in 1979. The photographic archives and slide library contain more than 11-million black-and-white prints and 300,000 slides of painting, sculpture, architecture, and the decorative arts.
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