A full collection of works from American artist Charles Demuth is on tour, and GW is among the first to host the exhibit.
The Luther W. Brady Art Gallery in the School of Media and Public Affairs is showing “Out of the Chateau: Works from the Demuth Museum,” a collection featuring the work of the modernist painter.
The collection has never been seen as a whole outside of its museum base in Lancaster, Pa., since the tour began at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. The Brady Gallery’s patron and namesake, Luther W. Brady, played a large role in obtaining the collection for exhibition at GW, said Lenore D. Miller, director of University art galleries.
“He knew that this collection existed and was hoping that the show could be organized and travel to a number of places,” Miller said.
While individual paintings by Demuth are on display in museums such as the Whitney Museum of American Art and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, this is the first touring exhibit of the permanent collection from the Demuth Museum, featuring more than 30 works in various mediums spanning Demuth’s career.
Anne Lampe, director of the Charles Demuth Museum, said Demuth plays an important part in American art history.
“He created the first uniquely American style of art, which is known as precisionism,” said Lampe, referring to Demuth’s blending of the cubist and futurist styles in his art.
The exhibit, displayed on the white walls of the gallery, is a comprehensive, often personal overview of Demuth’s life and career. Pages from his childhood sketchbook, a self-portrait from his time as a student at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in Philadelphia, watercolor paintings and numerous charcoal and pencil sketches comprise the bulk of the exhibit.
Sharon Fishel, a visitor of the gallery, said she enjoyed viewing the full collection of Demuth works.
“It’s really great to see a more diverse group of his pieces in one show,” said Fishel, who works as education coordinator for the McLean Project for the Arts, a non-profit gallery in McLean, Va.
She added, “I think it’s a real eye-opener in terms of who Demuth was. Here you have all kinds of much more personal references to his life.”
Sophomore Emily Grebenstein, who is a gallery assistant in the Brady Gallery, said the Demuth collection is good for GW.
“The exhibit has been really well-received so far,” Grebenstein said. “And I think most students, when they come, always feel more cultured when they leave. GW has so many things going on but a lot of them are not focused on the arts, such as political rallies or whatever they might be. So this is a nice taste of something different.”
The exhibit will run from Jan. 16 to March 14 at the Brady Gallery and a public reception will be held on Feb. 7 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.