Kenwood House At MAM Opens Tomorrow
Its latest major exhibit showcases Rembrandt, Gainsborough, and Van Dyck.
Milwaukee Art Museum's largest fall exhibit opens to the public tomorrow, and it offers a look at some of the most important paintings by the Dutch and Flemish masters. The exhibit is culled from a collection of works from London's Kenwood House, an 18th-century mansion once owned by Edward Cecil Guinness. Yes, that Guinness.
Guinness bequeathed the art collection along with the estate to England. The house is now under repairs, which provided the perfect opportunity to tour 43 of its paintings. The exhibit visits only four American cities, including Milwaukee.
From Rembrandt's most mysterious self-portrait, to a selection of Van Dyck, Turner, Gainsborough, Lawrence, and Reynolds, the selection of paintings reveals much about Guinness' artistic inclinations, as well as the role of royal portraiture in England's monarchy. Similarly, "Miss Murray" by Lawrence, seen at left, is one of about ten portraits of children, which are grouped together masterfully. At a press preview today William Rudolph, MAM's curator of American arts and decorative arts, explained that the assortment of paintings of children demonstrates the changing perceptions of children in the late 19th century. It's a striking portrait, to be sure, and the wondrous rendering of Miss Murray's piercing gaze is best viewed up close.
To learn more about the exhibit and Kenwood House, check out Deb Brehmer's "Traveling Treasures," which appeared in Milwaukee Magazine's October issue. Museum hours and ticket information can be found here.
All photos courtesy of the Milwaukee Art Museum.