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For Immediate Release
Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Master Drawings Unveiled: 25 Years of Major Acquisitions Features a Diverse Range of 17th to mid-20th Century Drawings in Curator Suzanne Folds McCullagh’s Final Exhibition

CHICAGO—The Art Institute of Chicago will present 84 hitherto unexhibited masterful drawings carefully and thoughtfully acquired over the last quarter century in an exhibition titled Master Drawings Unveiled: 25 Years of Major Acquisitions.  Building upon an established and world-renowned collection, these masterpieces range from the French and Italian schools of the 17th century to Swiss, German, and Austrian Romanticism, midcentury Realism, Belgian Symbolism and into the mid-20th century.  The recent acquisitions will be on display from August 27, 2016 to January 29, 2017 and provide visitors a full range of artistic achievement, featuring key works by François Boucher, Henri Fantin-Latour, Edgar Degas, Odilon Redon, Francis Picabia, Grant Wood, and other iconic figures.

The exhibition is a culmination of the legacy and focus of curator Suzanne Folds McCullagh, who along with Mark Pascale, Martha Tedeschi, and Douglas Druick strategically acquired the works to reinforce the strengths of the collection and add new dimensions and greater depth. The selected works offer a “leap through the ages,” says McCullagh. “This is only the tip of the iceberg, not including gifts or bequests, or works that have been or will be shown in other exhibitions here. We have acquired over 9,000 prints and drawings since 1991; this installation reveals some of the areas we have sought to develop through purchases. The range of the materials means the show offers something for everyone.”

Among the works never-before-seen in Chicago are three studies for beloved works in the permanent collection. A full-scale study of A Young Peasant Woman Drinking her Café au Lait, 1881, is almost the same size as the painting (Gallery 246). There is a final compositional study for Puvis de Chavanne’s Sacred Grove, Beloved of the Arts and the Muses, 1883/84 (Gallery 245). And, most surprising of all is the large abstract planning drawing for Gustave Caillebotte’s Paris Street; Rainy Day, 1877 (Gallery 201).

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