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  • Get Face-to-Face with Renowned Artists and their Works

    WORCESTER, MASS., June 28, 2000 - Become familiar with the face behind the art with Face to Face: Artists and their Work, an exhibition featuring over 25 photographic portraits of famous artists beside examples of their graphic work. On view at the Worcester Art Museum from July 15 - September 3, this union of portraits and works of art brings together the names, faces, and graphic work of well-known artists, such as Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, Edward Hopper, Alfred Stieglitz, and Manual Alvarez Bravo, to name a few. Some of the photographers who took the photographic portraits are recognizable names, too, and include Arnold Newman, Imogen Cunningham, Andr&eactue; Kert&eactue;sz, Frederick Evans, Henri Cartier-Bresson, and George Daniell.

    All of the objects in this show are works on paper, and most are from the Worcester Art Museum's permanent collection. "Both the artists' portraits and their works are interesting enough by themselves, but when placed side by side, they create an even fuller understanding of the artists represented," says Maura Brennan, assistant curator of Prints, Drawings and Photographs.

    From the contemplative image of Henri Matisse at home on his sofa, to the solitary image of Alberto Giacometti walking in the rain, these portraits represent a variety of ways to depict an artist. Some of the portraits are full-length images, while others are carefully cropped head shots. Some present the artists alone, while others show him/her surrounded by friends and family. What they all have in common, however, is an ability to give deeper insight into the personalities represented. Even the photographers' choices of setting, props, pose, and amount of cropping are all meant to instill the portraits with a sense of the sitters.

    While the portraits are helpful in formulating perceptions of artists, the work done by the artists themselves is even more insightful. The prints, drawings, and photographs that are paired with the artists' portraits represent the individuals more intimately. The medium, technique, style and subject matter of each work tell us much about the personality behind the art. For example, by examining Beardsley's print with its nature-inspired forms it's easy to see the artist in the role of an aesthete. Similarly, Manuel Alvarez Bravo's interests in cultural history and his own ancestry are revealed in his photograph of a squash, a symbol for his Indian roots.

    This exhibition sheds new light on artists you've known for years, while also introducing you to names and faces that are unfamiliar. By examining these works carefully, you'll leave the exhibition with deeper insight into the artists' unique dispositions.

    Museum Background

    Opened to the public in 1898, the Worcester Art Museum is the second largest art museum in New England. Its exceptional 35,000-piece collection of paintings, sculpture, decorative arts, photography, prints and drawings is displayed in 36 galleries and spans 5,000 years of art and culture, ranging from Egyptian antiquities and Roman mosaics to Impressionist paintings and contemporary art. Throughout its first century, the Worcester Art Museum proved itself a pioneer: the first American museum to purchase work by Claude Monet (1910) and Paul Gauguin (1921); the first museum to bring a medieval building to America (1927); a sponsor of the first major excavation at Antioch, one of the four great cities of ancient Rome (1932); the first museum to create an Art All-State program for high school artists (1987); the originator of the first exhibition of Dutch master Judith Leyster (1993); and the first museum to focus its contemporary art programs on art of the last 10 years (1998). The Museum's hours are: Wednesday through Sunday, 11am-5pm, and Saturday 10am-5pm. Admission: FREE for members; Non-members: $8 Adults; $6 Seniors and full-time college students with current ID; FREE for youth 17 and under; FREE for everyone Saturday mornings 10am-noon sponsored by The TJX Companies and Massachusetts Electric Company. For more information, call (508) 799-4406 or visit the Museum at 55 Salisbury Street in Worcester.

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