Skip to Main Content

Release Date: September 11, 2007

National Gallery of Art Offers Exciting Programs Related to J.M.W. Turner Exhibition, October 1, 2007–January 6, 2008

Washington, DC—The National Gallery of Art will offer a diverse program of lectures, films, and concerts in conjunction with J.M.W. Turner, on view October 1, 2007 to January 6, 2008, in the West Building. The exhibition is the largest retrospective ever presented in the United States of the career of J.M.W. Turner (1775–1851), one of the greatest landscape painters in the history of art.

All programs are free and open to the public unless otherwise noted. For more information, call (202) 737-4215, visit the Web site at, or inquire at the Information Desks.

East Building Auditorium, 2:00 p.m.

October 7
"Splendid Combinations of Color": Turner’s Oils
Franklin Kelly, National Gallery of Art, co-curator of the exhibition

October 28
"Enshrined in Mystery, and the Object of Profound Speculation": The Double Life of J.M.W. Turner
Gillian Forrester, Yale Center for British Art, associate curator of prints and drawings

Meet at the West Building Rotunda

J.M.W. Turner
October 7, 10, 12; November 30; December 3 at 12:00
October 9, 23, 25, 28, 30; November 6, 8, 14, 16, 19, 20, 28; December 4 at 1:00

Turner in Italy
December 6, 14, 17, 18 at 12:00; December 20 at 1:00

East Building Auditorium, Wednesdays at 2:00 p.m.
West Building Lecture Hall, Saturdays at 12:00 noon

J.M.W. Turner lived most of his life in London, as did his contemporaries John Constable and John Martin. By 1800, London was the only European city to number more than a million inhabitants. The wealth and power of London, the financial center of Europe, sustained an enormous art market and remained a dominant force in culture through the later part of the century. Gallery lecturer Philip Leonard, in a four-part series, examines patronage and collecting, and their effects on the booming London art market during Turner’s lifetime.

September 26 and 29: George IV, Royal Builder and Collector
October 3 and 6: An Imperial Capital
October 10 and 13: The Rise of Public Art Museums
October 17 and 20: The Regency Style


Voices of London
October 14, 6:30 p.m.
West Garden Court
Music by 18th- and early 19th-century English composers

Amanda Pitt, soprano, with pianist David Owen Norris
October 21, 6:30 p.m.
West Building Lecture Hall
Music by Braham, Debussy, Haydn, and Vaughan Williams

Alexandria Symphony Orchestra with music director Kim Allen Kluge
November 4, 6:30 p.m.
West Garden Court
Music by Beethoven and Brahms


J.M.W. Turner
October 1–January 6
West Building Project Room
Daily, 10:00–5:00 p.m., shown continuously (with exceptions)
East Building Auditorium
Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, 12:00 noon (with exceptions)
Sundays: October 14, 21, 28; December 16, 23, 30

Narrated by Academy Award-winning actor Jeremy Irons and produced by the Gallery, the documentary provides an overview of J.M.W. Turner’s career and influences, with new footage of Wales and Switzerland, and other locales Turner visited.

This film is made possible by the HRH Foundation.

The DVD version of this film is available for $19.95 through the National Gallery of Art Shops. To order, call (800) 697-9350 or (202) 842-6002; fax (202)789-3047; or e-mail [email protected].

J.M.W. Turner and Contemporary Cinema
January 5, 2:00 p.m.

J.M.W. Turner is said to have inspired such filmmakers as Stan Brakhage, Jordan Belson, and Pawel Pawlikowski. A variety of experimental shorts and narrative features explores the artist’s influences.


Narrated by Gallery Director Earl A. Powell III with commentary by exhibition co-curators Franklin Kelly, National Gallery of Art, and Ian Warrell, Tate Britain. $5 per tour


The exhibition has been selected by Ian Warrell, curator of 18th- and 19th-century art, Tate Britain, and a team of American curators—Franklin Kelly, senior curator of American and British paintings, National Gallery of Art; 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.

The 320-page exhibition catalogue, fully illustrated with 210 color and 50 black-and-white images, includes an overview of the artist’s life and career by Warrell and an essay by Kelly entitled "Turner and America." Published by Tate Enterprises Ltd, the catalogue is available from the National Gallery of Art Shops. To order, call (800) 697-9350 or (202) 842-6002; fax (202) 789-3047; or e-mail [email protected] ($55.00 hardcover, $45.00 softcover).


J.M.W. Turner is organized by the National Gallery of Art, Washington (October 1, 2007–January 6, 2008), the Dallas Museum of Art (February 10–May 18, 2008), and The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (June 24–September 21, 2008), in association with Tate Britain, London, which is lending 85 works from its vast and impressive Turner bequest.

The exhibition is sponsored by The Exhibition Circle of the National Gallery of Art.

Bank of America is proud to be the national sponsor.

The exhibition is made possible in part through the generous support of Access Industries.

It is supported by an indemnity from the Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities.

General Information

For additional press information please call or send inquiries to:
Department of Communications
National Gallery of Art
2000 South Club Drive
Landover, MD 20785
phone: (202) 842-6353
e-mail: [email protected]
Anabeth Guthrie
Chief of Communications
(202) 842-6804
[email protected]

The Gallery also offers a broad range of newsletters for various interests. Follow this link to view the complete list.