In conjunction with its new exhibition, John Singer Sargent’s Mrs. Carl Meyer and Her Children, the Jewish Museum will present a series of public programs, including a lecture by scholar Tessa Murdoch, greatgranddaughter of Adèle Meyer, subject of Sargent’s bravura painting, on January 26; and a conversation with exhibition co-curator Norman Kleeblatt and artist Kathleen Gilje on October 27. Other highlights include daytime lectures by Norman Kleeblatt on November 29 and Lucy H. Partman on January 31, and a three-part painting workshop for adults on October 13, 20, and 27.
Few paintings by John Singer Sargent better exemplify his artistic prowess as a portraitist than Mrs. Carl Meyer and her Children. Seductive and revealing, this bravura painting captures the world of a privileged English family of Jewish origin during the late Victorian era, depicting Adèle Meyer, a wealthy British philanthropist, well-known society hostess, and political activist, with her children, Elsie Charlotte and Frank Cecil. John Singer Sargent's Mrs. Carl Meyer and Her Children, on view at the Jewish Museum through February 5, 2017, is highlighting this remarkable portrait - contextualizing it with other family portraits, ephemera, documents, personal correspondence, and caricatures. On loan from the Tate Britain, it has been over ten years since the painting was on view in the United States.
Led by artist Tryn Collins, this oil painting workshop invites participants to compose lush images on canvas inspired by observations drawn from life, the figure, and the exhibition John Singer Sargent's Mrs. Carl Meyer and Her Children. Beginning with an in-depth study of Sargent’s artistic process, the workshop will offer life drawing with a live figure model and painting instruction in the studio that will build toward finished paintings on canvas. No prior experience necessary; all skill levels are welcome. Tryn Collins lives and works in Brooklyn and received an MFA from Hunter College and a BA from Brown University. She is a member of the Brooklynbased artists collective Underdonk and has served as artist in residence at the Vermont Studio Center, Woodstock-Byrdcliffe Guild, and the Shandaken Project. In 2015, Collins had a solo show at Tyler Wood Gallery in San Francisco and was featured in The East Bay Monthly.
Kathleen Gilje is an American art restorer and artist, best known for her appropriations of Old Master paintings which combine their historical provenance with contemporary ideas and perspective. Her 48 Portraits, Sargent’s Women examines female identity by stripping Sargent’s women of their elegant gowns and extravagant settings. Gilje’s work has been shown in various exhibitions throughout the United States and in Europe, and is in the collection of several museums, including the Weatherspoon Museum, University of North Carolina, Greensboro, NC, National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington, D.C., Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, CT, The National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C., and the Williams College Museum of Art, Williamstown, Massachusetts. Over the past twenty-five years, Norman Kleeblatt has played a key role in shaping the holdings of the Jewish Museum, acquiring unique, culturally relevant works in various media for the collection of modern and contemporary art. Kleeblatt is known for his broad ranging exhibitions including the 2008 award-winning Action/Abstraction: Pollock, De Kooning, and American Art, 1940 – 1976 (2008). Among other exhibitions organized by Mr. Kleeblatt are The Dreyfus Affair: Art, Truth and Justice (1987) and Too Jewish? Challenging Traditional Identities (1996). He was also co-curator for An Expressionist in Paris: The Paintings of Chaim Soutine (1998) and Painting a Place in America: Jewish Artists in New York, 1900 – 1945 (1991). He currently serves on the boards of both the Vera List Center for Art and Politics of the New School and as Vice President of the U.S. section of the International Association of Art Critics (AICA).