Monday, October 2, 2017

DRAWN TO GREATNESS: The Thaw Collection: Review by Polly Guerin

The Bathers ca 1900 Paul Cezanne 
If you have the collector's gene and wealth to acquire a vast collection, a specific genre of art, as time goes by and the final curtain closes in, you may have the urge to open a museum of your own, but donating to a museum may be the most realistic choice.
      Such is the case with the Thaw Collection in DRAWN TO GREATNESS, Master Drawings, which recently opened at The Morgan Museum and Library. The exhibition, on view through January 7, 2018,  focuses on works acquired by Eugene V and Clare E.
La Rond des petities Betonnes, Paul Gauguin 1888 
Thaw since 1994. In the decades since the 1950s, they have assembled one of the finest collections of drawings and watercolors in private hands. 
Image Left: The Bathers 1900 watercolor over graphite, Paul Cezanne (1839-1906)
       This is not the first time that the Shaw holdings have been shown at the Morgan. This is the fifth since 1975, which is a promised gift to the museum.  The collection was first promised to the Morgan in the same year by Life Trustee Eugene V. Thaw and the final gift of drawings came to the Morgan in January. As a body of work, representing so diverse a mix of artists, The Thaw collection of drawings is considered among the foremost assembled by an individual over the last fifty years.  
      DRAWN TO GREATNESS features over 150 masterworks highlighting pivotal artists and key moments in the history of draftsmanship.  In addition to the remarkable selection of modern works, exceptional sheets dating from the Renaissance to the nineteenth century are on view and most of the works have not been previously exhibited. A partial listing of of artists represented includes Rubens, Rembrandt, Piranesi, Watteau, Fragonard, Goya, Ingres, Turner, Degas, Cezanne, Gauguin, van Gogh, Matisse, Picasso, and Pollock. Image: Breton Girls Dancing, Pont-Aven, 1888, Paul Gauguin (1845-1903). 

This energetically worked pastel is preparatory for the painting by Paul Gauguin executed the summer of 1888, and first shown in Paris that fall; now it resides in the National Museum of Art in Washington D.C. 
      For the schedule of programs and lectures contact or 212.685.0008 ext 560.  Of particular note is DRAWN TO SONG, on Wednesday, October 11, 7:00 pm. To parallel the history of draftsmanship in Drawn to Greatness: Master Drawings from the Thaw Collection artists from The Glimmerglass Festival will perform a program reflecting the history of the art song. Selections will include songs and poetry contemporary to the artists featured in the Thaw collection. 
    Ta Ta Darlings!!! I still haven't decided where to donate my petite collection of art and artifacts. T'is a delimma, but I do so much enjoy my works of art, that I clearly cannot depart with then, Yet! Fan mail welcome: Visit Polly's Blogs at and click in the left-hand column on the subject that resonates with your interest fron fashion to visionary men, women determined to succeed, and even poetry.

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