Turner’s Modern and Ancient Ports: Passages through Time
February 23, 2017 to May 14, 2017
Joseph Mallord William Turner (1775–1851), nineteenth-century Britain’s greatest land- and seascape artist, depicted ports throughout his career, both in monumental oil paintings and in watercolors. An insatiable traveler and an artist with a deep fascination with light, topography, and local traditions, as well as with classical antiquity, Turner brought an innovative approach to the depiction of both modern and ancient ports. In the spring of 2017, The Frick Collection presents Turner’s Modern and Ancient Ports: Passages through Time, a major exhibition that brings together some thirty-five works from the 1810s through the late 1830s in oil, watercolor, and graphite that capture contemporary cities in England, France, and Germany, as well as imagined scenes set in the ancient world. It will unite for the first time the museum’s two paintings of Dieppe and Cologne with a closely related, yet unfinished, work from Tate Britain that depicts the modern harbor of Brest. The exhibition is organized by Susan Grace Galassi, Senior Curator at The Frick Collection; leading Turner scholar Ian Warrell; and Joanna Sheers Seidenstein, the Frick’s Anne L. Poulet Curatorial Fellow. It is accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue, published in association with Yale University Press.