New paper at the Philadelphia Museum

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Rembrandt’s Portrait of the Print Dealer Clement de Jonghe, 1651, etching with burin work and drypoint.

First off, campers, we’re back online after a hiatus caused by blogger that affected us yesterday and this morning. We’re beathing more easily now and hope we didn’t cause you to hyperventilate at our absence.

So I’ll tell you briefly about the PMA’s new acquisitions show which I saw before going through the Perelman building construction site (see Libby’s post. Like Libby, I have a bunch of pictures in a flickr set of the hard hat trek we took with Anne d’Harnoncourt, Richard Gluckman, Raymond Perelman and company.)

Astrid Bowlby’s Round robins, 2004, etchings

Meanwhile, the new acquisitions: prints and drawings show is a big round-up of purchases and gifts from the last five years. Spanning the ages, there is a lovely etching by Rembrandt (pictured above); and other antique works. I love the Durer prints, especially the beautiful engraving “Coat of Arms with a skull” 1503 (not shown) which seems to speak to today’s aesthetic of romantic death and exquisite beauty.

The PMA began collecting art by self-taught and outsider artists in the 1990s and this show has a few great examples by James Castle, Bill Traylor, Joseph Yoakum, Consuelo Gonzalez Amezcua, Felipe Jesus Consalvos and Justin McCarthy.


The show’s hung in a kind of loose chronological and thematic way which helps ally works as birds of a feather but also gives them a context of their times.

Rob Matthews, After Peale: Family Portrait 2003 #1, graphite on wove paper.

Our town’s artists make a strong showing. Facing each other across the space are a fantasy art history drawing by Rob Matthews and a suite of four etchings by Astrid Magdalen Bowlby. Both artists are artblog favorites. Matthews’ drawing updates the PMA’s painting by Charles Wilson Peale of his sons climbing a stairway looking back over their shoulders. Both works (Peale’s and Matthews’s are tours de force).


Bracketing Bowlby are a large charcoal drawing by Mei-ling Hom and two small ink and wash drawings by Tom Chimes who will have a solo exhibit at the PMA sometime soon.

Consuelo Gonzalez Amezcua, La Bella Huri, 1970. Ballpoint pen and crayon with graphite on cardboard. Self taught artist (1903-1975) who lived in Del Rio, TX.
Since we’re name dropping, other local artists featured are Michael Rossman, Warren Rohrer, Michael Olszewski, Tony Rosati and Randy Bolton (now at Cranbrook but to me he’s still a homey). Virgil Marti and Sarah McEneaney have their Philadelphia Print Collaborative portfolio prints included.

Mark Bradford (currently in the Whitney Biennial), Untitled #15, 2004. Litho and screenprint monoprint no 15 from an edition of 42 variants. Peter Doig is another current Whitney artist also in this show.

The show affirms the relevance of works on paper as art with visual pleasure and staying power.

And finally, here’s a juicy tidbit too good not to pass on. That beautiful Rembrandt etching above? The wall card says it made its way into the collection in 2004, the gift of an “anonymous donor in honor of Smarty Jones.” Jones, of course, is the local race horse, now retired, that made some people rich a few years back.

I have much of the show documented in a flickr set. You must excuse the glare and the trapezoidal compositions, all due to me trying to take photos of works primarily under glass.