Last Week to See Waking Dreams: The Art of the Pre-Raphaelites from the Delaware Art Museum
Now Through Monday, April 3
SARASOTA, Fla. (March 27, 2006) – Don’t miss your chance to see the most significant exhibition of Pre-Raphaelite art outside the United Kingdom. Entitled Waking Dreams: The Art of the Pre-Raphaelites from the Delaware Art Museum, this magnificent exhibition is on display at The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art West Gallery through Monday, April 3. Organized by Arts Services International, it features landmark art forms practiced by the Pre-Raphaelite movement, including oil paintings, watercolors, drawings, ceramics, jewelry and furniture.
Works by Dante Gabriel Rossetti form the exhibition’s cornerstone. The artist’s gradual move toward mysterious, often trance-like images of female figures in increasingly non-narrative contexts renders in paint the artist’s interior life. This group, replete with religious and sometimes esoteric symbolism and closely allied with poetry and religion, is justifiably famous: Lady Lilith (1868); Water Willow (1871); Veronica Veronese (1872); La Bella Mano (1874-75); Mary Magdalene (1877); and Mnemosyne (1881). Included in the exhibition are examples of the closely observed naturalism characteristic of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood in John Everett Millais’ The Waterfall (1853) and A Highland Lassie (1854), Ford Madox Brown’s Hampstead, A Sketch from Nature (1857) and Frederick Sandys’ Mary Magdalene (1858-60).
Visitors to the exhibition are afforded a rare view of seven magnificent books published by the Kelmscott Press. On loan from Special Collections, Strozier Library, Florida State University, these books, especially Geoffrey Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, designed by William Morris and illustrated by Edward Burne-Jones, represent the epitome of the ideal hand- decorated book. Renowned for their beauty and workmanship, they showcase the design, color, and adornment of medieval manuscript pages.
The Delaware Art Museum’s collection of Pre-Raphaelite art was donated by the heirs of Samuel Bancroft, Jr. (1840-1915), a successful textile manufacturer and patron of the arts. As the only collector of Pre-Raphaelite art in America at the turn of the century, Bancroft’s enthusiasm for the movement was unique for its time and place.
A 396-page catalogue, “Waking Dreams: The Art of the Pre-Raphaelites from the Delaware Art Museum,” is available in the Ringling Museum Store.