By Alexis Goodin
Exhibition Co-Curator and Curatorial Research Assistant at the Clark
Just a couple more labels to mount on the walls, a few lights to tweak, and then Copycat: Reproducing Works of Art will be ready to open to the public. It’s gratifying to see the exhibition become a reality.
Just last fall, James Pilgrim, co-curator of the exhibition, and I were looking at prints in the Manton Study Center for Prints, Drawings, and Photographs, selecting works for this show. We were amazed to discover that the Clark’s collection included more than a thousand works that could be classified as reproductive prints (prints made after other works of art), whether drawings, paintings, or other prints. We saw wonderful works in our first months of research on this exhibition, and had a difficult time narrowing our selection down to just forty-three.
In choosing prints for Copycat, we looked for strong impressions of works in excellent condition. We gave preference to prints that had never been exhibited at the Clark (and, on that note, had to say “no” to a few prints that had been recently shown, as works on paper are sensitive to light and, by a rule, should only once every five years).
James and I looked for works with diverse subjects, made by artists representing a variety of eras and geographies, from sixteenth-century Germany to eighteenth-century Britain, to nineteenth-century France. We also wanted to exhibit prints that utilized a variety of techniques—engraving, etching, lithography, mezzotint, chiaroscuro woodcut, to name just a few—in order to convey the range of options that artists had to choose from when creating prints that copy other art.
I hope you enjoy the works on view as much as I enjoyed selecting them! Here’s a sneak peek at what you’ll see in the galleries:
Eugène Delacroix (French, 1798–1863), Lion Devouring a Horse, 1844. Lithograph on chine collé on paper. © Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, Massachusetts, 1993.38.1
Francesco Bartolozzi (Italian, 1727–1815), after Guercino, Italian, 1591–1666, The Libyan Sibyl, c. 1780. Etching and color etchings on paper. © Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, Massachusetts. Acquired with funds donated by participants in the Friends of the Clark Print Seminar, 1984.75b
Johann Gottlieb Prestel (German, 1739–1808), after Jacopo Ligozzi (Italian, 1547–1627), Allegorical Composition: Virtue Overcoming Sin, 1780. Color etching and aquatint, with gold woodcut additions, on paper. © Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, Massachusetts. Acquired by the Clark, 1987, 1987.55
Attributed to Félix Bracquemond (French, 1833–1914), after William–Adolphe Bouguereau (French, 1825–1905), Nymphs and Satyr, c. 1873. Etching on paper. © Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, Massachusetts, 1999.6
Charles Courtry (French, 1846–1897), after Théodore Géricault (French, 1791–1824), Trumpeter of the Hussars, c. 1870. Etching and drypoint on paper. © Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, Massachusetts, 1955.2423
John Baptist Jackson (English, c. 1701–1780), after Paolo Veronese (Italian, 1528–1588), The Marriage at Cana, 1740. Color woodcut on paper. © Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, Massachusetts, 2002.1
Édouard Baldus (French, 1813–1889), Statue of Pericles with Standing Figure in the Tuileries, c. 1856. Salt print from a wet-collodion-on-glass negative on paper. Collection of the Troob Family Foundation, TR2003.35.5
David Lucas (English, 1802–1881), after John Constable (English, 1776–1837), Salisbury Cathedral from the Meadows, 1831–32. Mezzotint on paper. © Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, Massachusetts. Gift of the Manton Foundation in memory of Sir Edwin and Lady Manton, 2007.20.6.1