|Vol. 17, No. 4||Sept. 25, 1997|
The students were all enrolled in a graduate seminar, "The Eight and American Realism," taught by William Innes Homer, H. Rodney Sharp Professor of Art History. Homer will give a tour of the exhibition at 5:30 p.m., on Wednesday, Oct. 22.
Two other UD students worked with Martha Carothers, chairperson of the Department of Art, to produce an accompanying catalog.
Working collaboratively with the museum's curatorial department, members of Homer's class selected the works to be shown, planned the catalog, wrote essays and designed the installation of the show.
The resulting exhibition is the first survey of drawings by Sloan and includes more than 100 works, many exhibited for the first time.
One of the premier artists of the 20th century, Sloan was a member of "The Eight," a group of New York artists who rebelled against the conservatism of the country's leading art exhibitions in the early 1900s. Throughout his career, drawing was an integral element of his art.
"The students took on this exhibition while also carrying our their regular seminar assignments," Homer said. "All carried out intensive research on Sloan at the University and at the museum. They worked closely with the museum staff, from whom they learned much about exhibition planning and professional curatorial procedures. In many ways, it was an ideal partnership.
"To organize an appealing exhibition from a museum's permanent collection presents a special challenge and one that is increasingly faced by curators today: how, in a time of spiraling costs, to mount stimulating exhibitions from materials already in hand," he said.
Additionally, Homer said the students enjoyed a rare opportunity to work closely with the artist's widow, Helen Farr Sloan. The museum's most generous benefactor, she has donated the world's most comprehensive collection of her husband's works-nearly 500 paintings, 2,000 drawings, a complete set of etchings and extensive archival holdings-to the museum.
Mrs. Sloan was able to address the class and assist with the exhibition in numerous ways, Homer said. Additionally, she celebrated her 86th birthday during one of the seminar meetings held at the museum.
Students participating in the exhibition include: Amy Henderson and Meredith Soles of Newark; Heather Campbell of Wilmington, Cristina Bishop, Alan Braddock and Karen Sherry, all of Philadelphia; Erica Donnis of Baltimore and Jessica Murphy of Edison, N.J.
The students who worked on the catalog are Wendy Ash of Wilmington and Keith Johnson of Newark.
Homer's Oct. 22 tour, "Art After Hours: Saluting the Sloans: John and Helen" will survey the drawings and discuss his major themes and his approach to graphic media. For information on museum hours and fees, call 571-9590.