Originally published in the Union College Magazine, Winter 2014
A collection of prints by 27 major figures of the art world—including Cézanne, Corot, Daumier, Goya, Lichtenstein, Manet and Miró—were on view at the Mandeville Gallery during fall term.
"A World of Prints: Selections from the Union College Permanent Collection," featured a number of techniques including etching, engraving, lithography, screen printing and woodcuts. Many of the works were gifts to the College by alumni, including Union Life Trustee Arnold Burns ’50, and his wife, Felice, as well as by the Martin S. Ackerman Foundation.
"This was a great opportunity to see the breadth, depth and quality of our Permanent Collection," said Julie Lohnes, curator of Union art collections and exhibitions. “All of the artists in our exhibit were visionaries of their generations."
Though the 30 artworks spanned 500 years, they primarily embodied two distinct eras: late 1700s-1800s and late 1960s-70s. Both groups represented printing processes popular during their time periods and demonstrated how each was innovative—indeed, groundbreaking—in method of production and subject matter.
"In both time periods, the artists were cutting-edge." said Lohnes. "They were bending and breaking the rules and conventions of the day."
In the 1800s, sympathetic depictions of the working class were revolutionary. This was exemplified in one of the highlights of the show, Manet’s print of motherhood, La Petite Fille Tenant un Bébé, as well as in Millet’s image of a layperson at work in La Grande Bergère.
Progressive subjects at that time also included political unrest and modest landscapes, as in Goya’s Los Proverbios, which pictures crowds of spectators mesmerized by performers’ feats at a Spanish carnival.
Other artists featured in “A World of Prints” were: Michael Wolgemut, David Hockney, Roy Lichtenstein, Josef Albers, Adriaen Collaert, Joe Goode, Robert Graham, Oskar Kokoschka, Lee Krasner, Jean-François Millet, Henry Moore, Francesco Piranesi, Ken Price, Joseph Raffael, Edward Ruscha, Frank Stella and Giovanni Domenico Tiepolo.