Over 50 people attended the launch last month of Broadway Museum and Art Gallery’s latest exhibition, Making an Impression. This features print works by Impressionist artists which have been loaned by the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford.
Exhibition curator Katherine Wodehouse joined the guests at the launch who comprised Friends, Benefactors, Volunteers and supporters from the Ashmolean Museum.
Katherine was able to provide her insight into artwork on display Manet, Pissarro, Cezanne, Renoir, Morisot and Cassatt, whose works feature in the exhibition, all created prints that provide a fascinating corollary to their famous paintings. The Impressionists’ characteristic subjects; the modern life of the city, portraits, landscape, and weather are all represented in their prints which exploit and cultivate innovatory techniques and aesthetic effects.
Just as the Impressionists abandoned the traditional systems for representing three-dimensional space and form, they also challenged the conventions of print-making. In mid-19th century France prints were essentially a reproductive medium, for which the approved means was engraving. However, in the 1850s a revival of etching gathered momentum, signalled by the foundation of the Société des Aqua-fortistes in 1862.
The exhibition also showcases the work of influential printmakers who exhibited with the Impressionists, including Félix Bracquemond (1833–1914), and those who succeeded them, such as Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (1864–1901). These fascinating works are displayed in the context of the development of printmaking techniques, and the blurring of the boundaries between prints and drawings. Many of the works are being exhibited for the first time at Broadway.
The Ashmolean is home to the Pissarro Family Collection, the most significant Impressionist archive outside France. This has been recently supplemented by the Webb Bequests of 2000 and 2003.
The exhibition now continues at the Broadway Museum and Art Gallery until 19th December 2018.