An exhibition of 35 medieval and Renaissance masterpieces from one of the world’s finest collections will be on view at the High Museum of Art beginning September 13, 2008, through January 4, 2009. This internationally traveling exhibition of rare treasures from The Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) presents works dating from 400 to 1600 AD, many of which have never before traveled to the U.S. Following the tour, the works will be returned to newly restored galleries at the V&A in London.
“The V&A is known worldwide for its exquisite collection of medieval and Renaissance work—from intricate decorative arts to delicate devotional and religious objects. Visitors will come up-close with some of the rarest of these treasures here at the High, as well as have the opportunity to witness the marriage of beauty with outstanding craftsmanship,” said Michael E. Shapiro, the Nancy and Holcombe T. Green, Jr. Director of the High Museum of Art.
“Medieval and Renaissance Treasures” features mostly small-scale works—sculpture, metalwork, ceramics and glass. The foundations of the collection were laid during the 19th century when the museum was known as the South Kensington Museum. Highlights include a Leonardo da Vinci notebook, the “Codex Forster I”; the “Symmachi Panel,” a 5th-century Roman ivory possibly carved to commemorate a wedding; the front cover of the “Lorsch Gospels,” a richly decorated ivory cover of the Gospels made for an abbey in Charlemagne’s Germany; the “Basilewsky Situla,” a small vessel used by priests to hold holy water and gifted to the Emperor Otto II in 980; a pair of gilt-bronze statuettes of prophets from an altarpiece by Hubert Gerhard; and Donatello’s bronze “Putto with Fish.”
Exhibition Organization, Tour and Publications
“Medieval and Renaissance Treasures” is organized by the V&A, London. This exhibition is supported by an indemnity from the Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities.
The exhibition debuted at the Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto (June 23 through October 7, 2007), and then traveled to the Norton Museum of Art, West Palm Beach, Fla. (October 20, 2007, through January 6, 2008). Additional venues include the Speed Art Museum, Louisville (January 22 through April 20, 2008); the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City (May 19 through August 17); the High Museum of Art, Atlanta (September 13, 2008, through January 4, 2009); and Millennium Galleries, Sheffield, U.K. (January 29 through May 24, 2009). In fall 2009 the works will be reinstalled in the new galleries at the V&A.
“Medieval and Renaissance Treasures” is accompanied by a fully illustrated program book featuring the works that will be on view at the High Museum of Art, in addition to other pieces from the V&A’s collections. Published by V&A Publications and distributed in North America by Harry N. Abrams, Inc., the catalogue will be available in the High Museum of Art Museum Shop.
The Victoria and Albert Museum
The Victoria and Albert Museum—known as the V&A—is one of the world’s greatest museums of art and design with collections unrivalled in their scope and diversity. It has an outstanding collection of medieval and Renaissance art, from every area of Europe, and includes textiles, paintings, sculpture, glass, metalwork, prints, manuscripts, furniture, ceramics and jewelry. The medieval and Renaissance collection illustrates changing artistic fashions over this long period and can be used to explore many other themes. The artworks provide revealing insights into the skills of the people who made individual objects and the beliefs, aspirations and values of those who owned them. For more about this collection and the V&A, please visit www.vam.ac.uk.
High Museum of Art
The High Museum of Art, founded in 1905 as the Atlanta Art Association, is the leading art museum in the southeastern United States. With more than 11,000 works of art in its permanent collection, the High Museum of Art has an extensive anthology of 19th- and 20th-century American art; significant holdings of European paintings and decorative art; a growing collection of African American art; and burgeoning collections of modern and contemporary art, photography and African art. The High is also dedicated to supporting and collecting works by Southern artists and is distinguished as the only major museum in North America to have a curatorial department specifically devoted to the field of folk and self-taught art. The High’s Media Arts department produces acclaimed annual film series and festivals of foreign, independent and classic cinema. In November 2005 the High opened three new buildings by architect Renzo Piano that more than doubled the Museum’s size, creating a vibrant “village for the arts” at the Woodruff Arts Center in midtown Atlanta. For more information about the High, please visit www.High.org.
The Woodruff Arts Center
The Woodruff Arts Center is ranked among the top four arts centers in the nation. A not-for-profit center for performing and visual arts, its campus comprises the Alliance Theatre, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, the High Museum of Art, Young Audiences and the 14th Street Playhouse.