New Hunterian exhibition showcases recent acquisitions ranging from Rembrandt to Alison Watt
Recent Acquisitions showcases some of the latest additions to The Hunterian’s world-class art collection.
Featuring works by Rembrandt, Käthe Kollwitz, Charles Rennie Mackintosh, Elizabeth Blackadder and Alison Watt to name but a few, this in-focus exhibition highlights the diversity of The Hunterian’s collection and celebrates the generosity of its donors and funders.
The works on display demonstrate the growth of The Hunterian collections over the past few years enriching areas such as the Mackintosh collection, works on paper and Scottish art.
Rembrandt’s Peasant with hands behind his back is one of two etchings bequeathed to The Hunterian through the Art Fund in recent years. A striking image in its own right, by the late 17th century it had earned its place among the works that would become a source of inspiration for numerous artists over centuries.
This is aptly demonstrated by the presence of a penetrating self-portrait by Käthe Kollwitz, one of the grande dames of German Expressionism, purchased more or less at the same time as the two Rembrandt etchings were bequeathed.
Among the highlights of this display is a copper candlestick, the result of a collaboration between the Macdonald sisters, Margaret and Frances, which was purchased at auction a few years ago. Its scale and bold design suggest that this was a display piece, conceived to make a powerful visual impact.
New acquisitions produced in more recent times include Orchids by Elizabeth Blackadder which adds significantly to our holding of one of Scotland’s finest contemporary artists. Blackadder shares with predecessors such as Charles Rennie Mackintosh, modern concerns for the intrinsic power of colour and decoration.
As does Head Study by Alison Watt, another of Scotland’s leading contemporary painters. This is the first work by the artist to enter The Hunterian collection. Dating from the memorable, early, figurative phase of Watt’s work, it represents an actress friend who posed when heads for a painting were required.
While the majority of the newest additions selected are shown together in this display, a few more, identifiable by their labels, can be found within our permanent displays. A notable example is Joan Eardley’s Seated Boy, displayed nearby, which was the first art work to be allocated to a Scottish institution through the Cultural Gifts Scheme by HM Government.
Many works have been purchased with support from the Art Fund, the National Fund for Acquisitions, and the Alexander and Margaret Johnstone Fund. The Hunterian is also indebted to a number of West of Scotland donors whose continual support is gratefully acknowledged.
3 November 2017 – 21 January 2018
Hunterian Art Gallery
Hunterian Art Gallery
University of Glasgow
82 Hillhead Street
Glasgow G12 8QQ
Open Tuesday - Saturday 10.00am - 5.00pm and Sunday 11.00am - 4.00pm
First published: 26 October 2017