February 2019 News from the National Gallery of Art

By Editorial Team on February 12, 2019

Eight Extraordinary Genoese Drawings and Margret Watkins Photograph Acquired
With support from the New Century Fund, Eugene L. and Marie-Louise Garbáty Fund, Elizabeth White Fund, and the Ailsa Mellon Bruce Fund, the Gallery has purchased eight drawings by several of the most accomplished Genoese artists. Genoese draftsmanship during the school’s golden age—from around 1600 and the visits of Peter Paul Rubens to Genoa, through the second quarter of the 18th century and the activity of Alessandro Magnasco—represents one of the high achievements of baroque style. Combined with the Gallery’s existing holdings, including several works acquired in recent years, these new acquisitions establish the finest and most representative collection of Genoese drawings in the United States.

One of the most distinctive photographs by Margaret Watkins (1884–1969), Domestic Symphony(1919) is an important addition to the Gallery’s holdings of modern photography. Depicting a still life Watkins constructed in the kitchen of her New York apartment, this striking print showcases her virtuosity at creating evocative compositions using ordinary objects. This thoughtful study of shape and materiality transforms and elevates its humble subject matter. An enamelware pie plate, a cast-iron pan, and three eggs rest on a porcelain drainboard that curves gracefully over the edge of a sink. A striped dish towel draws the viewer’s eye down along the right side of the print to where Watkins astutely used light and shadow to create an artful rhythm.

In the Library: The Evans-Tibbs Archive of African American Art
Through April 12
East Building Study Center, from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday
This library installation showcases the life and work of Thurlow Evans Tibbs Jr. through correspondence, exhibition pamphlets, gallery records, photographs, and ephemera that illustrate the history of the Tibbs family, the Evans-Tibbs Archive, and African American art. An accomplished art appraiser, broker, collector, and dealer, as well as the founder and director of his eponymous art gallery in Washington, DC, Tibbs is best known for his donation to the Corcoran Gallery of Art, now an important part of the Gallery’s holdings by African American artists.

Titles for the 68th Annual A. W. Mellon Lectures in the Fine Arts Announced
The Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts (CASVA) at the National Gallery of Art has announced titles for the 68th Annual A. W. Mellon Lectures in the Fine Arts. The lecture series, titled End as Beginning: Chinese Art and Dynastic Time, begins on March 31, 2019, and will be presented by Wu Hung, Harrie A. Vanderstappen Distinguished Service Professor of Art History, University of Chicago.

(via National Gallery of Art. Photo: Margaret Watkins, Domestic Symphony, 1919, gelatin silver print, National Gallery of Art, Washington, Alfred H. Moses and Fern M. Schad Fund.)