press release

Two hundred nineteen works by leading nineteenth-century American, British, and French artists from the legendary collection formed by Grenville L. Winthop (1864–1943) are on display at The Metropolitan Museum of Art through January 25, 2004. The exhibition, which marks the first time the collection has traveled since its bequest to Harvard in 1943, features paintings, drawings, and sculptures by more than fifty artists, including William Blake, Edward Burne-Jones, Jacques-Louis David, Eugène Delacroix, Théodore Géricault, Winslow Homer, Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres, Gustave Moreau, Camille Pissarro, Auguste Renoir, Auguste Rodin, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, John Singer Sargent, and James Abbott McNeill Whistler.

The exhibition is made possible in part by the Janice H. Levin Fund.

The exhibition was organized by the Fogg Art Museum, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, in collaboration with Ville de Lyon, Musée des Beaux-Arts and Réunion des musées nationaux, the National Gallery, London, and The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.

More about Grenville Winthrop and His Collection In 1943 Grenville Lindall Winthrop bequeathed his entire collection of more than 4,000 works of art to his alma mater, Harvard College. During his life, he almost never lent objects from his collection to museums, and in keeping with his wishes, the works have always been at Harvard, available to students and scholars, rather than on loan to other institutions. Now, for the first time, a selection of nineteenth-century Western European and American paintings, drawings, and sculpture from the Winthrop collection are being exhibited outside of Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Over the course of four and a half decades, Winthrop assembled objects from almost every culture and historical period. In particular, no other collector could claim the depth of Winthrop's reach in both French and British art together. Rather than purchase already-formed collections of drawings, Winthrop was a pioneer in establishing a collection of works on paper, piece by piece.

Winthrop acquired more works by Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres than any other private collector of his day. The exhibition at the Metropolitan features thirty-four, including Raphael and the Fornarina (1814), Odalisque with the Slave (ca. 1837–40), and fourteen drawn and painted portraits. Winthrop also collected pictures by Ingres's teacher, Jacques-Louis David. Of note are Study for "The Oath of the Tennis Court" (1790–91) which documents a defining moment of the French Revolution, the portrait of David's friend and fellow revolutionary Emmanuel Joseph Sieyès (1817), and sketchbooks containing more than 100 studies for David's monumental Coronation of Napoleon I (Le Sacre).

Works by the French Romantic painters include Théodore Gericault's Cattle Market (1817) and Postillion at the Door of an Inn (1822–23), and Eugène Delacroix's A Turk Surrenders to a Greek Horseman (1856). In addition to pictures by many of the leading French Impressionists, the exhibition features eleven sculptures by Auguste Rodin.

Dante Gabriel Rossetti's The Blessed Damozel (1871–78) and Edward Burne-Jones's watercolors, Days of Creation (1875–76) are among the important group of stellar paintings and drawings by the British Pre-Raphaelites. Winthrop assembled one of the finest collections of works by William Blake, represented here by one of the artist's rare paintings, Christ Blessing (ca. 1810), as well as by watercolors from his celebrated Book of Job (1821).

A great admirer of the progressive artists of nineteenth-century America, Winthrop owned a group of watercolors by Winslow Homer, among them Mink Pond (1891) and Adirondack Lake (1892). The expatriate American artists John Singer Sargent and James Abbott McNeill Whistler are represented in this exhibition as well; the former by five pictures, the latter by eight, including a shimmering Nocturne in Blue and Silver (ca. 1871–72).

Exhibition Organizers The exhibition was organized by an international committee of curators coordinated by Stephan Wolohojian, curator of Paintings, Sculpture, and Decorative Arts, Fogg Art Museum, Harvard University Art Museums. The exhibition has been installed at the Metropolitan by Gary Tinterow, Engelhard Curator of 19th-Century European Painting, with the assistance of Rebecca A. Rabinow, assistant research curator.

A Private Passion:
19th-Century Paintings and Drawings
from the Grenville L. Winthrop Collection, Harvard University
Kurator: Stephan Wolohojian

Künstler: William Blake, Edward Burne-Jones, Jacques-Louis David, Eugène Delacroix, Théodore Géricault, Winslow Homer, Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres, Gustave Moreau, Camille Pissarro, Auguste Renoir, Auguste Rodin, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, John Singer Sargent, James McNeill Whistler ...