The Sandy & John Nesbitt Collection: The Discriminating Eye at Work
Thursday March 29, 2012
The Samek Art Gallery of Bucknell University, eleven students and I are enormously grateful to alums Sandy and John Nesbitt, class of ’64, for their generosity in making their print collection available to us for this exhibition at the collectors’ alma mater. We are greatly honored to have this opportunity, all the more so since it is the first ever comprehensive exhibition of their collection. The Nesbitts were exceptionally kind in agreeing to bring the works to campus for study and to speak to our group about their activities as print collectors.
Enrolled in my Prints seminar during Spring term 2010, eleven students chose prints from the Nesbitt collection, studying them closely, researching their historical and art historical contexts and writing wall texts to be displayed next to each object in the exhibition. Although the criteria of selection were entirely subjective, based on each student’s personal interest, the result is an exhibition that spans nearly the entire history of printmaking in Western art.
The works on display range from the years around 1500 to the late twentieth century, from the early German printmakers Master MZ and Albrecht Dürer to the Surrealist Joan Mirò and the American realist artist Fairfield Porter. The earliest examples document the beginnings of the medium in early Renaissance Germany, while the latest examples were created only about forty years ago. The greatest masters and most skilled innovators in printmaking, such as Dürer and Rembrandt, are well represented by important works. Conversely, some artists who are not at all known for their prints are included, such as Cézanne and Morisot.
-Christiane Andersson, Guest-Curator
Image: Rembrandt van Rijn, Fourth Oriental Head, 1635, etching