October 1 – January 1, 2023
European Splendors offers a chance to re-experience the CMA’s Kress Collection — largely off view since 2017 — in a luxurious new way. It includes an exciting arc of Italian art from the late Medieval to the Baroque period shown alongside rarely seen ecclesiastical textiles, apothecary mortars, and furniture pieces. This exhibition explores the renewed emphasis on the human condition and individualism within religious art, culminating in stunning examples of Dutch portraiture and still life. Italian landscapes by Bernardo Bellotto and Giovanni Paolo Pannini illustrate the impulse to bring a piece of history home from one’s Grand Tour as well as the 18th-century mania for Greek and Roman ruins.
The largest portion of Kress’ personal collection went to the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. Thanks to a series of gifts from the Foundation, the second largest repository came to the Columbia Museum of Art. Thirty of these European paintings, representing the 13th to the 18th centuries, are now on an extraordinary national tour, aimed at making these art-historical treasures accessible to new audiences until they return home in 2024. This exhibition gives Columbia viewers an opportunity to see them in the midst of their travels.
Organized by the Columbia Museum of Art, South Carolina
with support from the Samuel H. Kress Foundation, New York