Dickens to Benton—Rare Books and Works on Paper from the Morse Collection
January 30, 2007 through October 14, 2007
This exhibition marks the first major showing of the strong and charming group of books, prints, and drawings that Hugh and Jeannette McKean so fondly assembled in their years of collecting.
This collection spans almost a hundred years—from an 1844 edition of Charles Dickens’ Martin Chuzzlewit to a 1941 lithograph by Thomas Hart Benton—and embraces some of the finest European and American artists of this dynamic era of design reform and artistic experimentation. Book highlights include the children’s illustrations of Kate Greenaway, the sensual graphics of Aubrey Beardsley, and the medieval–inspired designs of William Morris. The list of artists represented among the prints and drawings on exhibit is no less illustrious: Mary Cassatt, Paul Cézanne, Édouard Manet, Paul Gauguin, James Abbott McNeill Whistler, Arthur Bowen Davies, and Edward Hopper. The beautiful and fragile works in this exhibition represent many different paths that design took from the mid-nineteenth century to the representative art of the 1940s and provide in this single setting another more personal view of the McKeans as collectors.