Monday, September 24, 2012
The McCrindle Gift: A Distinguished Collection of Drawings and Watercolors
When: through November 25, 2012
Joseph McCrindle, 1923-2008, was a major art collector, literary agent and founder of the Transatlantic Review. He gave over 300 works to the National Gallery, as well as to other museums and cultural institutions. He wanted to express his appreciation for the many happy hours they had provided him; if only I had art to give away to express my appreciation!
This show is a small selection of his gifts to the National Gallery, meant to provide an overview of his tastes. It's a wide range of items, mostly drawings and prints. Sadly, as far as I'm concerned, there's very little color in this exhibit, and I'm just not an afficianado of monochrome works. Granted, in the third and final room, a bit of color does creep in, including three John Singer Sargent works. The one pictured here is of Sir Neville Wilkinson, the others are a view of Cairo and an interior of a Spanish church. Not the typical Sargent paintings of society ladies in white. Also in the last room is a small work by Edward Lear, he of the nonsense verse. This is a view of Venice, which contrasts nicely with another Venice scene by Hercules Brabazon Brabazon (an unlikely name for an Englishman, but the notes tell me England was his home). Note that the scene has been altered by Brabazon; from this viewpoint, one would not see the buildings pictured - just like the view paintings in the National Gallery's exhibit last year.
Verdict: A very nice show, especially if you don't mind a lack of color in your art. Lots of religious art, which I could also do without, but who doesn't like looking at a nice head of St. John the Baptist from time to time?