Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Becoming a Woman in the Age of Enlightenment: French Art from The Horvitz Collection

The Harn Museum of Art at the University of Florida 

 Oct. 6 to Dec. 31, 2017


Becoming a Woman in the Age of Enlightenment is an exhibition of more than 150 drawings, pastels, paintings and sculptures addressing some of the most important and defining question of women’s lives in the 18th and early 19th centuries.
Ranging from spirited, improvisational sketches and figural studies to highly finished drawings of exquisite beauty, the works included in the exhibition are by many of the most prominent artists of the time. They include Antoine Watteau, Nicolas Lancret, François Boucher, Jean-Honoré Fragonard, as well as lesser-known artists both male and female, such as Anne Vallayer-Coster, Gabrielle Capet, François-André Vincent and Philibert-Louis Debucourt.

Becoming a Woman in the Age of Enlightenment is organized into sections that address cultural attitudes and conditions that shaped how women were defined in the 18th and early 19th centuries. These sections include “The Fair Sex: Conceptions and Paradigms of Woman;” “Women in Training;” “What’s Love Got To Do With It?;” “Married with Children;” “Dressing the Part;” “Aging Gracefully;” “Pleasurable Pursuits;” “Private Pleasures” and “Work: Leaving it to the Professionals.”

“Becoming a Woman will offer opportunities to consider how its themes compare to some of the most pressing social issues of our own time and how things may or may not have changed,” said Melissa Hyde, guest curator of the exhibition. “Although the circumstances and the specifics have changed, pay equity, reproductive rights, violence against women and work-family balance are but a few of the many women’s issues covered in the exhibition that still remain today.”

The exhibition will offer fresh perspectives on a subject that still has direct relevance to our times, but that has not been the focus of a significant exhibition for decades. Through its conceptual framework, thematic organization and its emphasis on historical context, the exhibition will provide viewers opportunities to consider what issues pertaining to women’s lives seem to have changed or persisted through time and across space. Although the circumstances and the specifics have changed, many issues remain with us today and can still provoke contentious debates. Pay equity, reproductive rights, gender-discrimination, violence against women, work-family balance, the ‘plight’ of the alpha-female, and the devaluation of the stay-at-home mom, are but a few of the women’s issues that are still hotly contested in the media, in cultural production of all kinds, in politics, and in public and private life. 
Becoming a Woman is curated by Melissa Hyde, Professor of Art History and Research Foundation Professor, University of Florida, and the late Mary D. Sheriff, W.R. Kenan J. Distinguished Professor of Art History, University of North Carolina,Chapel Hill, and is organized by Alvin L. Clark, Jr, Curator, The Horvitz Collection and The J.E. Horvitz Research Curator, Harvard Art Museums/Fogg.

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Antoine Vestier, Allegory of the Arts, 1788,  Oil on canvas

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Jacques-Antoine-Marie Lemoine, Woman Standing in a Garden, 1783, Black chalk and brush with gray wash on off-white laid paper
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Louis-Léopold Boilly, Conversation in a Park, Oil on canvas
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François Boucher, Young Travelers, black chalk on cream antique laid paper, framing line in black ink, laid down on a decorated mount, 295 x 188 mm
Jacques-Louis David, Andromache Mourning the Death of Hector, pen with black ink and brush with gray wash over traces of black chalk on cream antique laid paper, 293 x 248 mm
Jean-Baptiste Greuze, The Chestnut Vendor, brush with gray and brown wash on cream antique laid paper, 385 x 460 mm
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Item Number: 146886
Title: Becoming a Woman in the Age of Enlightenment: French Art from The Horvitz Collection
Author: Hyde, Melissa ; Mary D. Sheriff ; Alvin L. Clark, Jr
Price: $38.95
ISBN: 9780991262526