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As the spring semester comes to an end and SMU celebrates its 98th commencement, don’t forget to visit the exhibitions on campus. Two are coming to a close, and you will want to see them before they’re gone:
The First Four Centuries of Printed Bible Illustration
This exhibition includes 50 bibles from Bridwell Library’s Special Collections that span from the beginning of the printed page to the 19th century. The exhibit focuses on the historical context, artistic development and cultural impact of the illustrations found in these scriptures. The First Four Centuries of Printed Bible Illustration will be on view in the Elizabeth Perkins Prothro Galleries until Saturday, May 18.
Bachelor of Fine Arts Qualifying Exhibition
The annual spring exhibition of graduating Division of Art seniors will be on display in the Pollock Gallery in Hughes-Trigg Student Center until Saturday, May 18, featuring a wide range of styles and media. Call 214-768-4439 for more information.
This retrospective of Oak Cliff native Darnell’s acting career features selections from the Jeff Gordon Collection. It has been held over through Friday, June 7 in the Hawn Gallery, Hamon Arts Library.
Impressions of Europe: 19th-Century Vistas by Martín Rico
SMU’s Meadows Museum, in collaboration with the Prado Museum, presents the only American appearance of this exhibition spanning the career of renowned Spanish landscape painter Martín Rico y Ortega. The show has been held over through Sunday, July 7 in the Virginia Meadows Galleries. Admission is free for SMU faculty, staff and students with University ID.
As part of its multifaceted partnership with the Prado, SMU’s Meadows Museum is presenting the most important monographic exhibition devoted to Velázquez in the United States in more than two decades.
Diego Velázquez: The Early Court Portraits, which opened Sunday, Sept. 16, 2012, and continues through Jan. 13, 2013, explores the development and impact of Velázquez’s work as the court portraitist for King Philip IV, one of history’s most influential arts patrons and connoisseurs.
The exhibition brings together key paintings from this period, including two early portraits of the King from the Meadows and Prado collections, united for the first time in four centuries. The exhibition is curated by one of the world’s leading Velázquez scholars, Javier Portús, head of the Prado’s Department of Spanish Painting until 1700. In the exhibition’s accompanying catalogue, Portús states that the artist’s first portrait of the king “may well be the work at the Meadows.”
In anticipation of this exhibition, Meadows/Kress/Prado Fellow Iraida Rodríguez-Negrón consulted directly with the Prado’s Gabinete Técnico de Documentación, the section of the museum’s conservation department where technical studies such as radiographs, infrared reflectography and UV light analysis are performed and analyzed. The Prado’s Gabinete Técnico then conducted extensive research on both museums’ Philip IV portraits.
X-rays of the Meadows portrait revealed underlying experimentation with the outline of the King’s neck and shoulders as well as variations in color and composition, suggesting this was Velázquez’s first attempt to paint the King. By contrast, it is clear that the King’s form was fully devised when Velázquez began painting the portrait now in the Prado’s collection.
Through this analysis, an outline beneath the surface of the Prado’s portrait was also discovered that replicates the contours seen in the Meadows painting, now understood to be the direct prototype of this later portrait. Technical materials will be included in the exhibition to shed light on these new findings.
SMU’s Meadows Museum opened a historic partnership with the Prado Museum of Madrid on September 10 with the first of three annual loans from the Prado – El Greco’s masterpiece Pentecost (c. 1600). Learn more about the work – and find the artist’s self-portrait contained within – in this video from Eva Parks of SMU News.
(Right, Meadows Museum personnel install the El Greco masterpiece Pentecost in a photo originally published on the University’s Twitter feed.)