Two exhibitions at the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.

Experiencing printmaking as a novelty and uncovering Joanna Hiffernan's secrets

It is now well known that the invention of printing contributed to the spread of biblical doctrine. But the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., will be revealing the unimagined possibilities of this technology in The Renaissance in the North, starting July 3. Along the way, it reveals partnership and personal secrets of Joanna Hiffernan and James McNeill Whistler.

July 03, 2022
Jan Sadeler, I, after Joos van Winghe, A Pleasure House, 1588. Engraving on laid papersheet (trimmed within plate at bottom)
National Gallery of Art, Washington, Ailsa Mellon Bruce Fund
Jan Sadeler I, after Joos van Winghe, A Pleasure House, 1588. Engraving on laid papersheet (trimmed within plate at bottom): 38.6 x 48.2 cm (15 3/16 x 19 in.)

The National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., will present two historically focused exhibitions beginning July 3. The first of these, The Renaissance in the North, focuses on the reproduction of the image that began with printmaking in the Renaissance. The museum took the opportunity of the new acquisition of 30 Renaissance works from Germany, the Netherlands and Switzerland to put them on display as part of a printmaking event. The works demonstrate the enormous value that reinvention had in the late 15th and 16th centuries: prints were used for religious worship and to disseminate moralizing narratives, while some artists also used the technique for self-promotion. »In our image-filled world, it is hard to imagine the sense of possibility that the burgeoning art of printmaking presented in the 15th and 16th centuries. This exhibition takes us back to that moment, when artists of the Northern Renaissance developed innovative styles and techniques that captivated the public and collectors,« said Kaywin Feldman, director of the National Gallery of Art.

Daniel Hopfer and Hieronymus Hopfer, Emperor Charles V, 1520 (1521?), etching (iron) with open biting and unique contemporary hand-coloring in green, red, yellow, pink andbrownplate
National Gallery of Art, Washington, Purchased as the Gift of Ladislaus and Beatrix von Hoffmann
Daniel Hopfer and Hieronymus HopferEmperor Charles V, 1520 (1521?), etching (iron) with open biting and unique contemporary hand-coloring in green, red, yellow, pink andbrownplate: 22 x 15.3 cm (8 11/16 x 6 in.)sheet: 22.1 x 15.6 cm (8 11/16 x 6 1/8 in.)

The exhibits on display are all from the National Gallery's collection. Included are rare prints by artists such as Albrecht Dürer and Hendrick Goltzius, as well as those by printmaking contemporaries - including works the museum has not previously shown. From small allegorical compositions intended for private viewing to oversized, multi-panel woodcuts for urban decoration, the exhibition also sheds light on the immense creativity that this technique engendered. Those who are interested can view the historic works through November 27.

The second exhibition is titled The Woman in White: Joanna Hiffernan and James McNeill Whistler and focuses on the connection between the two namesake artists. James McNeill Whistler (1834-1903) and Joanna Hiffernan (1839-1886) met in 1860 and immediately formed both a close professional and personal relationship. The National Gallery of Art presents around 60 works that emerged from their deep bond - and were created in collaboration. The exhibition brings together not only paintings, drawings, and prints, but also letters and documents that illuminate, above all, Hiffernan's role as a partner and as a building block in this creative process. Visitors will learn all about the iconic works, partnership, and secrets of Hiffernan's personality in The Woman in White: Joanna Hiffernan and James McNeill Whistler. The show runs through October 3.Art.Salon

Dive deeper into the art world

Vienna, Franz Grabmayr in the ALBERTINA Museum

His paintings embody dynamism: Franz Grabmayr devoted himself to depicting water, fire, the sky and the earth. On May 17, the ALBERTINA Museum in Vienna opens a major solo exhibition of the artist, who died in 2015.

May 17, 2024
Leipzig, HVB Kunstraum: Exhibition with Gudrun Petersdorff

Until July 9, Annette Schröter and Gudrun Petersdorff are showing works of art about allotment gardens and taking a look at new perspectives. Behind the Gates is a collaboration between the HVB Kunstraum and Galerie Koenitz in Leipzig.

May 15, 2024