A brightly colored portrait of a woman playing the lute greeted guests at the Frick Museum, where onlookers gathered in the gallery’s small entrance to read the plaque identifying Kate Elizabeth Bunce. “Melody (Music). “
Organized by the American Federation of the Arts, the art exhibition Victorian radicals debuted on November 6 at the Frick Art Museum, located in the Point Breeze neighborhood of Pittsburgh. The exhibition, which will run until January 30, 2022, features a series of works of art that have never been exhibited outside of Birmingham, UK.
Elizabeth Barker, executive director of the museum, said in a press release that Frick was delighted to share these works with the Pittsburgh community.
“Victorian Radicals explores a revolutionary group of artists and designers whose creations pose bold questions about art and society that still feel fresh today,” said Barker. “We are delighted to share this incredibly beautiful exhibit.
The exhibition presents artistic works developed during the second half of the 19th century. It presents two generations of artists and designers. The exhibition features the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood and the champions of the Arts and Crafts movement who influenced the visual arts in Britain during the Industrial Revolution.
Tickets for museum members are free. Adult tickets cost $ 15. Student tickets cost $ 13 with a student card. Tickets for the exhibition must be purchased in advance in line and are programmed to adhere to COVID-19 guidelines.
Dawn Brean, chief curator and director of collections, said in a press release that the artists featured at Victorian Radicals remain influential in the modern world today.
“These artists sincerely believed in the capacity of art as a force for social good,” said Brean. “They rejected the dominant thought of the time and envisioned a better future by turning, somewhat surprisingly, to the pre-industrial past. They valued truth, nature, authenticity and the handmade. Their pursuit of beauty in the age of industry generates questions that remain as relevant today as they were then. “
The gallery features works by artists such as Ford Madox Brown, Edward Burne-Jones, William Holman Hunt, John Everett Millais, William Morris, Dante Gabriel Rossetti and Elizabeth Siddal.
Katie Levy, an industrial designer from the Polish Hill neighborhood of Pittsburgh, said the exhibition stood out for her, especially because of its historical background and its influence on later artists.
“A lot of the processes that were invented around that time are still in use today,” Levy said. “It was sort of the first mass manufacturer to bring premium design to the middle class.”
Victorian Radicals includes the works of artists who have influenced visual culture in Britain and around the world. The gallery displays paintings, jewelry, textiles and metal objects that use vivid colors and details to convey literary themes as well as contemporary life of the time.
Judy Knapp, a former student of Pitt and a resident of Ligonier, said she doesn’t follow the art closely but appreciates the visual details of the works.
“The details, the colors, they are exquisite. You could just study them forever, ”Knapp said. “It would be so wise to open up to the themes. “
The exhibition explores the relationship between art and nature, class differences and a general search for beauty in the industrial age through mythology and fairy tales. Mythological works included art surrounding the Greek and Roman myths of Proserpine and Medea. The fairy tales included such characters as Beauty of The beauty and the Beast as good as Morgan-le-Fay from the legend of King Arthur.
The works on display aim to represent a range of avant-garde practices within the historic Victorian period that embodied aesthetic and social ideals. These artists used fine details, metalwork, and vivid colors to combat the increase in mass manufacturing within society.
Hannah Petrazio, a resident of Mount Lebanon, also grew up attending field trips to the Frick Museum. She said she was interested in the political message of the coins.
“You read the little blurb and it was actually a period of heightened political climate, so it was pretty cool to see a snapshot of a different political space 200 years ago,” Petrazio said. “It’s nice to see the story through someone else’s eyes, especially in this style.”
Parker Trow, an industrial designer from Polish Hill, said he visited the museum growing up. He said the exhibit stood out from him because of its historical value and noted an ironic placement in the Frick due to the exhibit’s theme of anti-industrialism, as the museum is named after the industrialist Henry Clay Frick.
“It was a really cool time for art. I actually didn’t know much about this group of artists, ”Trow said. “It’s that mix of being a small group of artists who were sort of focused on something that was less well known in this context of Britain. This beginning of the industrial revolution in the context where it is also in the Frick, this places it in an excellent position. “
Levy said she encourages others to enjoy the exhibit and its story while it’s available.
“It’s a really good history lesson,” said Levy. “It’s also a good mix of different art.”