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Exhibitions | Past

To Observe and Imagine
British Drawings and Watercolors from the Morgan Library, 1600–1900

September 24 through December 31, 2005

Image of Blake's Mirth, illustration to Milton's L'Allegro
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William Blake (1757–1827)
Mirth, illustration to Milton's L'Allegro
Pen and brush, black and gray ink, watercolor
6 3/8 x 4 13/16 inches (161 x 121 mm)
The Pierpont Morgan Library
1949.4:1

To Observe and Imagine: British Drawings and Watercolors from the Morgan Library, 1600–1900, was a major survey of the Morgan's important collection of British drawings. The basis of this group dates to Pierpont Morgan's well-known 1909 purchase of virtually all the holdings of Charles Fairfax Murray, the English Pre-Raphaelite artist and collector.

The exhibition featured approximately a hundred drawings and watercolors produced over a three-hundred-year period. Seventeenth-century examples included works by Inigo Jones and foreign-born artists working in England, including Wenceslaus Hollar and Sir Peter Lely. Emphasis was on the major draftsmen of the eighteenth century, including William Blake, Thomas Gainsborough, and William Hogarth. A number of beautiful nineteenth-century drawings and watercolors by John Constable, Thomas Girtin, Samuel Palmer, John Ruskin, and Joseph Mallord William Turner also were on view. The exhibition culminated in several outstanding works by the Pre-Raphaelites and a selection of artists' sketchbooks.


May 14 through August 15, 2004
Taft Museum of Art
316 Pike Street
Cincinnati, OH 45202
(513) 241-0343
http://www.taftmuseum.org

September 24 through December 31, 2005
Frick Art and Historical Center
7227 Reynolds Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15208
(412) 371-0600
http://www.frickart.org

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The programs of The Morgan Library & Museum are made possible with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

Background images: Photography by Todd Eberle unless otherwise noted. © 2006 Todd Eberle.