Friday, June 13, 2008
Alexandria, VA - Art Services International is pleased to announce the launch of "Paintings from the Reign of Victoria: THE ROYAL HOLLOWAY COLLECTION, LONDON", an exhibition of superb Victorian paintings drawn from the collection at Royal Holloway, University of London. The majority of the sixty canvases included have never before been exhibited outside England. Art Services International is honored to present this breathtaking exhibition for tour of the United States. The tour will premiere at the Philbrook Museum of Art in Tulsa, Oklahoma and then travel to other major American art museums through 2010.
Thomas Holloway (1800-1883), a self-made English multi-millionaire, purchased a group of then “modern” paintings during the last years of his life. This collection became the crowning gift to Holloway’s generous endowment of a College for women, (now known as Royal Holloway, University of London), founded in 1879 and opened by Queen Victoria in 1886. Holloway spent more than $90 million, in today’s terms, on both the College and the collection of paintings which has helped to make it world-famous. Although his personal collection included many old masters, he decided that modern art was more appropriate for the new College. From the first auction to which he anonymously sent an agent, it was apparent that a new and eminently rich collector had entered the market. This caused great excitement in the art world and much speculation in the press. The collection was widely reported and attracted visitors from the start, but, although individual paintings have appeared in major exhibitions in Europe and the United States, this exhibition will enable American visitors to experience the majority of these works for the very first time.
The exhibition showcases sixty extraordinary paintings which not only exemplify the astute taste of a late Victorian collector, but also illustrate some of the highest achievements in the figurative and landscape art of the nineteenth century. The Royal Holloway Collection includes many of the most visible and praised “modern canvases” in London in the 1880s. From scenes of contemporary life, as well as historical events, to landscapes, animal studies, and marine subjects, the exhibition demonstrates Holloway’s Victorian ideal of art as the ultimate civilizing influence. Holloway saw art as a teaching tool with visual beauty as its medium, and he sought out only the best examples, regardless of cost. Included are seminal works by such revered artists as Sir Edwin Landseer, William Powell Frith, Sir John Everett Millais, David Roberts, and Edwin Long.
Dr. Mary Cowling, Senior Lecturer in the History of Art at Royal Holloway, University of London, and Curator of the Royal Holloway Collection, is the Guest Curator of the exhibition. Accompanying the exhibition will be a 256-page, fully-illustrated, all-color catalogue. Essays will consider “A Prodigious Two-Year Spending Spree: Thomas Holloway and the Victorian Art Market” by Dr. Dianne Sachko Macleod, Department of Art and Art History, University of California, Davis; “Past and Present: The Golden Age of Narrative Painting” by Dr. Cowling; “Images of Rural and Sea-Side Life” by Dr. Christiana Payne, Senior Lecturer of Art, Oxford Brooks University, Oxford; and “Imagination and Reality: Landscape Painting in the Nineteenth Century” by Andrew Wilton, Visiting Research Fellow, the Tate Gallery, London; plus an Introduction by Professor Tim Barringer, Paul Mellon Professor, Department of the History of Art, Yale University. The catalogue will be published by Art Services International.
The exhibition premieres at the Philbrook Museum of Art, Tulsa, Oklahoma (October 12, 2008 – January 4, 2009). Subsequent venues include the Delaware Museum of Art, Wilmington, Delaware (January 31 – April 12, 2009); the Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, Connecticut (June 11 – July 26, 2009); Brigham Young University Museum of Art, Provo, Utah (August 15 – October 25, 2009); the Huntsville Museum of Art, Huntsville, Alabama (November 21, 2009 – January 31, 2010); the Society of the Four Arts, Palm Beach, Florida (March 12 – April 18, 2010); and the Iris and Gerald B. Cantor Center for the Visual Arts, Stanford University, Stanford, California (May 15 – July 12, 2010).
Please mention Art Services International in any articles or written references to the exhibition:
The exhibition is organized and circulated by Art Services International, Alexandria, Virginia.
His Excellency Sir Nigel Sheinwald, Ambassador of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland to the United States of America, is Honorary Patron of the exhibition.
The national tour has been supported by The Chisholm Foundation, and the catalogue sponsor is Hiscox, specialist insurer.
Art Services International is a nonprofit educational institution that organizes touring art exhibitions of the highest quality for museums worldwide, accompanied by scholarly all-color catalogues. These exhibitions include paintings, drawings, prints, photographs, sculpture, and decorative arts that range from the art of the ancient world to works of the Old Masters, and continue through to the contemporary period. ASI exhibitions are drawn from museums and private collections internationally, and are hosted by museums throughout the United States and Europe. ASI shares with the hosting museums a commitment to enhancing the appreciation of art.
(Images courtesy of and used under license from Royal Holloway, University of London.)