SHIFT OF SHAPES: OPENING OF METAMORPHOSIS IN MYTH, ART AND NATURE AT THE FRANCES LEHMAN LOEB ART CENTER | The scene
SHIFT OF SHAPES: METAMORPHOSIS IN MYTH, ART AND NATURE OPENING AT THE FRANCES LEHMAN LOEB ART CENTER
POUGHKEEPSIE – The Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center at Vassar College will present the exhibition Changing Forms: Metamorphosis in Myth, Art, and Nature, 1650-1700, from September 28 to December 19, 2021 in Loeb’s Focus Gallery.
The exhibition, curated by Dr Elizabeth Nogrady, Andrew W. Mellon Curator of Academic Programs at the Loeb, and Dr Lara Yeager-Crasselt, Curator of The Leiden Collection, brings together some twenty paintings, drawings, prints, specimens and illustrations books to explore the rich and varied concept of “metamorphosis” at the end of the 17th century in the Netherlands. With connections to art, myth, science, and the exchange of knowledge, Metamorphosis provides a vital lens through which to explore and understand a modern changing world.
Changing Forms focuses on the idea of ââmetamorphosis at a dynamic time in the late 1600s, when notions of myth, art, and science converged in new and urgent ways. Painters such as Godefridus Schalcken, Willem van Mieris and Samuel van Hoogstraten created their own mythological imagery with the more refined and elegant language of classicism. This tradition will be demonstrated in the exhibition by works such as Salmacis and Hermaphrodite by Samuel van Hoogstraten (ca. 1671-1676), which has never been shown in a museum exhibit, as well as paintings of the goddess Diana by Godefridus Schalcken and Willem van Mieris, all on loan from The Leiden Collection, the largest private collection of Dutch art in the United States.
At the same time, the exhibition shows how contemporaries explored biological metamorphosis in richly illustrated insect studies. The key books to emerge in this context were Metamorphosis naturalis by Johannes Goedaert and Metamorphosis insectorum Surinamensium by Maria Sibylla Merian, which amassed new knowledge from the indigenous and slave peoples of South America. These amazing books are from the Vassar Collections and include major loans from Cornell University, Bard College, and Lehigh University.
A centerpiece of the exhibition is the Portrait of Dina Margareta de Bye by Willem van Mieris (1705) from the Leiden collection, which depicts this learned woman from Leiden with flowers, seashells, brushes and a painting of a butterfly that looks a lot like a page from The Merian Text. It thus illustrates the fascinating intersection of art, nature and the metamorphosis that unites the exhibition.
The exhibition will be accompanied by an exhibition catalog published by the Loeb Art Center with new grants on these themes by Elizabeth Nogrady, Lara Yeager-Crasselt and Ronald Patkus.
Stephanie McCarter, Professor of Classics at Sewanee, The University of the South, to discuss her new translation of Ovid’s Metamorphoses, to appear in Penguin Classics
Thursday October 7 5:30 p.m.
The taste for change: towards a modern aesthetic of transformation
Claudia Swan, inaugural professor of art history Mark Steinberg Weil
Director of Graduate Studies, Washington University in St. Louis
Wednesday November 10, 4 p.m.
About the Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center
The Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center was established in 1864 as the Vassar College Art Gallery. The current 36,400 square foot facility, designed by Cesar Pelli and named after the major donor of the new building, opened in 1993. Vassar was the first American college founded with an art museum in the part of his original plans, and throughout over time, Loeb’s galleries feature works from his extensive collections. Loeb’s collections trace the history of art from antiquity to the present day and include more than 22,000 works, including paintings, sculptures, drawings, prints, photographs and ceramic objects. Notable collections include the Warburg Collection of Old Master Prints, a large group of paintings from the Hudson River School donated by Matthew Vassar in the founding of the college, and a wide array of works by major European and American artists of the 20th century. century.
Entrance to the Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center is free and all galleries are wheelchair accessible. The Loeb is now open to the public from Tuesday to Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Thursday until 7 p.m. The Loeb is located at 124 Raymond Avenue near the entrance to the Vassar College campus. parking is available on avenue Raymond. Directions to the Vassar Campus in Poughkeepsie, NY, are available https://www.vassar.edu/tour-the-hudson-valley
The art center is also accessible via Dutchess County public transportation, the L bus line. For more information, the public can call (845) 437-5632 or visit fllac.vassar.edu.
We recognize that Vassar stands in the homelands of the Munsee Lenape, indigenous peoples who have a lasting connection to this place despite their forced displacement by European colonization. The Munsee Lenape peoples continue today as the Stockbridge-Munsee community in Wisconsin, the Delaware tribe and Delaware nation in Oklahoma, and the Munsee-Delaware nation in Ontario. This recognition, however, is insufficient without reckoning with the reality that every member of the Vassar community since 1861 has benefited from the displacement of these indigenous peoples, and it is futile without our efforts to counter the effects of the structures that have long allowed – and that still perpetuate itself – injustice against Native Americans. To this end, we are committed to building and maintaining relationships with Indigenous communities; expand opportunities at Vassar for Indigenous students, as well as faculty and other Indigenous employees; and to work with Indigenous nations to learn more about the Indigenous peoples, past and present, who care for this land.
Vassar College is an independent, coeducational residential liberal arts college founded in 1861.