Contact: Victoria Winkelman
SMU Meadows School of the Arts
(214) 768-3785

July 31, 2003

Meadows Museum To Open Two Special Exhibitions On September 14

DALLAS (SMU) – The Meadows Museum at Southern Methodist University will present two special exhibitions beginning September 14, 2003: Spanish Master Drawings from Dutch Collections (1500-1900) through November 9, 2003; Images of Human Tragedy in Black & White: Etchings by Francisco de Goya and Photographs by Jeffrey Gusky through January 4, 2004. Admission to both exhibitions is free.

Sept. 14 – Nov. 9, 2003

“Drawing is an essential part of painting. It is its soul and life; without it, painting would be dead, would have neither beauty nor movement. It is the most difficult of disciplines, requiring the greatest perseverance and strength. It is the aspect of art with which even the best struggle their whole lives, without ever being permitted to lay down their weapons (their hands), even for a single moment.” – Francisco Pacheco, the first teacher and later father-in-law of Velázquez, in his book El arte de la pintura (1649)

This exhibition will bring together for the first time virtually all of the Spanish drawings present in Dutch public collections. It will include 41 works from the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen in Rotterdam, which organized the exhibition; the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam; the Teylers Museum in Haarlem; the Prentenkabinet Universiteit Leiden in Leiden; and the Museum Kröller-Müller in Otterlo.

“The majority of these delicate works of art have rarely been exhibited before, even in Holland,” said Dr. Edmund P. Pillsbury, director of the Meadows Museum. “This is a unique opportunity for the public to view outstanding examples of Spanish draftsmanship, an underexposed field in European art history.”

The exhibition will trace the development of drawing in Spain, beginning in the 16th century with Alonso Berruguete, one of the first Spanish draftsmen who learned the art of drawing in Italy, through Spain’s Golden Age in the 17th century, when the visual arts and drawing developed to a new artistic level. Drawings made during the reign of Philip III (1598-1621), Philip IV (1621-1665) and Charles II (1665-1700) will form the core of the exhibition and will include unique works by Bartolomé Murillo, Jusepe de Ribera and Pedro de Mena.

The classical traditions of the 18th century will be reflected in a work by Luis Paret, which will be contrasted with drawings by his contemporary Francisco de Goya. Goya was able to free himself from the era’s rigid academy style and develop into one of Spain’s finest draftsmen. Goya’s influence was still felt long after he died in 1828, exemplified in the exhibition by the style and theme of works by Romantic artist Eugenio Lucas.

The second part of the exhibition will feature a group of anonymous works that shed interesting light on the difficulties of authenticating and attributing Spanish drawings. This section will be particularly relevant for the Meadows Museum, which confronted issues of the same nature in its early years. A selection of paintings from the permanent collection will be displayed alongside the anonymous drawings as a way to explain more about the Museum’s history and to emphasize the always intriguing matter of attribution.

The Meadows Museum will be the first venue for this exhibition, after which it will travel to the Appleton Museum of Art in Florida and then on to the organizing institution in 2004.

Three public events will be held at the museum in conjunction with this exhibition. A symposium will be held on Saturday, Sept. 13 from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., featuring Dr. Mark A. Roglán, curator of collections at the museum; Dr. Sandra Tatsakis, curator of the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen; and Dr. Tanya Tiffany, the Haakon Fellow in SMU's Division of Art History.  Admission to the symposium will be $5 per person, free for museum members and SMU students. Reservations are requested; for more information, please call 214.768.2516.

Two free gallery talks will also be given. On Friday, Sept. 26 at 12:15 p.m., Dr. Roglán will present "Outlining the History of Spanish Draftsmanship: A Tour of Dutch Collections," examining the historical and artistic context of Spanish master drawings with particular attention to artists also represented in the Meadows Museum's permanent collection. On Friday, Oct. 17 at 12:15 p.m., SMU Associate Professor of Art Mary Vernon will present "The Difficulty of Drawing," a discussion of the technical mastery of Spain's great draftsmen and the aesthetic qualities unique to Spanish drawings.

Sept. 14, 2003 – Jan. 4, 2004

Some 70 works by two artists will be featured in this provocative exhibition about the suffering and violence of war. Black and white photographs by Jeffrey Gusky document haunting modern-day images of the aftermath of the Holocaust in Poland, while the Disasters of War by Francisco de Goya illustrate the horrors of the Napoleonic occupation of Spain. Dr. Gusky is a Dallas-based photographer whose work has recently gained national recognition through exhibitions and various publications, including the forthcoming Silent Places: Landscapes of Jewish Life and Loss in Eastern Europe (The Overlook Press). The Goya prints are part of a complete first edition of the series owned by the Meadows Museum.

Artists have documented human violence for longer than written history has been preserved. While many of their works have been constrained to follow a prevailing or official point of view, others offer alternative and more personal visions of the causes, courses and outcomes of humanity’s conflicts.

As noted by SMU Professor of Art History Pamela Patton, “The black-and-white images of Goya and Gusky, although sharply different in some respects, share this deeply personal approach. The violent events documented by each are largely unrelated: they occurred in different countries, at different times, and for different reasons; they also victimized different people. Yet both Napoleon’s and Hitler’s barbarities were made possible by the same profound forgetfulness of humanity’s highest and most fragile goals—peace, tolerance, a just society—that underlies so much human violence.”

Francisco de Goya (1746-1828) concluded The Disasters of War, one of his major print series, around 1820. It was originally comprised of 85 images, most of which featured scenes of the suffering and violence that Goya himself witnessed during Napoleon’s six-year occupation of Spain from 1808 to 1814. Goya’s sensitive and personal perspective along with his masterful use of etching and aquatint caused an artistic revolution in the visual arts that still endures today.

Following the path forged by Goya, legions of artists have depicted war’s impact on humanity in the rawest of its forms, most notably through the lens of a camera. An emergency physician by vocation, Dr. Jeffrey Gusky took a trip to Poland in 1995 that resulted in a desire to document and share his experiences. Led to Poland by a combination of a faith crisis and an adventurous spirit, he decided to tour Eastern Europe and to discover through personal testimonies of Holocaust survivors what Judaism truly meant to him. Although he was unable to find a single Jew, he did find numerous reminders of the Holocaust, including Jewish buildings and synagogues still standing precariously against the passage of time, silent witnesses to a once-thriving community. The resonance of the spaces, the weight of history and religion, the experience of hearing the testimonies of the witnesses who knew what happened there during the 1940s, all moved Gusky to attempt to capture his emotions with his camera.

Jeffrey Gusky’s Holocaust-related photographs have been previously presented in solo exhibitions at the Fleming Museum in Burlington, Vermont, the University of Texas at Dallas, and the University of Texas at Tyler. A number of his works are in private collections throughout the United States.

Several public events will be offered in conjunction with Images of Human Tragedy in Black & White. On Thursday, Oct. 23 at 6:30 p.m., Dr. Larry Allums, director of The Dallas Institute of Humanities and Culture, will give a lecture titled “Hitler and Napoleon: Portrayals of Power in Literature and Film.” A Music in the Meadows concert on Sunday, Nov. 9 at 3 p.m. will feature the powerful and poignant work “Shema” by distinguished composer and SMU professor Simon Sargon. On Thursday, Nov. 20 at 7 p.m., the museum will host a book club discussion of Survival in Auschwitz by Primo Levi; the discussion will be facilitated by Dr. Mary Jane Colpi, director of educational resources at The Dallas Holocaust Memorial Center. And on Friday, Dec. 5 at 12:15 p.m., Dr. Jeffrey Gusky will give a gallery talk, titled “The Landscape of Loss,” about his work. The book club discussion is $5 per person, $2.50 for members of the museum and Friends of the SMU Libraries; all other events are free.

NOTE: Images of Human Tragedy in Black & White will be the first exhibition in the new Meadows Museum to bring together thoughts and ideas from professors in departments throughout Southern Methodist University. Text for the exhibition has been contributed by SMU faculty members Pamela Patton, associate professor, Division of Art History; David A. Freidel, University Distinguished Professor and graduate advisor, Department of Anthropology; Rick Halperin, former chair of the board of directors of Amnesty International USA, Department of History; and Luis Martín, Kahn Professor Emeritus of History. Other community contributors included Dr. Larry Allums, Director of the Dallas Institute of Humanities and Culture; Dr. Mary Jane Colpi, Director of Educational Resources for The Dallas Holocaust Memorial Center; Mindy Rubinstein, Director of Public Relations and Programming for The Dallas Holocaust Memorial Center; and Reid Heller, J.D., co-founder Judaica Lecture Series, and member of the SMU Libraries Systems Board.

Meadows Museum Information:

The Meadows Museum is at 5900 Bishop Blvd. in Dallas, Texas (75275), on the campus of SMU. Hours are 10 AM to 5 PM on Monday, Tuesday, Friday and Saturday; 10 AM to 8 PM on Thursday; and 1-5 PM on Sunday. The museum is closed Wednesdays and major holidays. Admission is free. For information, call 214.768.2516.