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Friday, October 11, 2013

More Rosenbach on the Road

Last week we talked about a Washington letter that is currently on loan to Mount Vernon; this week we bring you another example of the Rosenbach's collections making an impact beyond our home on Delancey Place.

If you've been on a Rosenbach house tour, you know that our walls are hung thick with paintings by Thomas Sully, the talented and prolific 19th-century Philadelphia artist. A major new exhibition, Thomas Sully: Painted Performance, opens today at the Milwaukee Art Museum and four Rosenbach paintings have traveled west to be part of it: two portraits of Rebecca Gratz, the portrait of Fanny Kemble, and the large painting of a child on the sea side. As the MAM site explains, the exhibit explores Sully's "lifelong connection to and love of the theatre and literature," so our paintings will feel right at home and will be in excellent company. The exhibit was co-curated by William Rudolph of the Milwaukee Art Museum and Carol Soltis of the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Our director, Derick Dreher, travelled out to Milwaukee for the opening, and as you can see, he found it very exciting.

 Here is Derick again, flanked by our two lovely Rebeccas.

 Hmm, the painting on that mug looks familiar--gotta love the Rosen-merchandise.

For those of you who haven't been to the Milwaukee Art Museum, which sadly includes me, the building is architecturally fascinating. The War Memorial building was designed by Eero Saarinen in the 1950s and a postmodern addition by Santiago Calatrava was added in 2001. The addition features a movable sunshade whose wings open and close on a daily schedule. Here is an exterior picture taken by our curator, Judy Guston, when she went to supervise the installation of our paintings; you can find more images and information on the MAM website.

And here is an interior shot from Derick.

The Sully exhibit will run in Milwaukee through January 5th and will then travel to the San Antonio Museum of Art from February 7 to May 14. It's great to be able to bring a bit of the Rosenbach to these audiences in other cities. If any Rosen-blog readers have a chance to see the exhibit, we'd love to hear your thoughts.

Kathy Haas is the Associate Curator at the Rosenbach Museum & Library.

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