City works figure in two fine shows Art: National Gallery exhibits feature works from the Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore Museum of Art.

Fine Arts

July 14, 1998|By John Dorsey | John Dorsey,SUN ART CRITIC

Two shows on view at the National Gallery in Washington have major Baltimore connections, and they're both fine shows.

"Manet, Monet and the Gare Saint-Lazare" brings together 39 paintings, drawings and prints of the section of Paris known as the Quartier de l'Europe, where Manet and Monet and other artists of the period worked. The exhibit provides an excellent opportunity to see urban works by the two great masters and their colleagues. The show was organized around the National Gallery's famous Manet painting "The Railway" (1872-1873).

The Manets include several paintings posed for by his favorite model of the period, Victorine Meurent, including "The Railway," "The Street Singer" (about 1862) and "Young Lady in 1866: Woman with a Parrot" (1866). Monet's eleven 1877 paintings of the interior of the Gare Saint-Lazare appear together for the first time, assembled from museum and private collections in Europe, Asia and the United States.

There are three pictures from Baltimore in the show. Pierre Puvis de Chavannes' painting "Hope" (1872), from the Walters Art gallery, was executed soon after France's disastrous defeat in the Franco-Prussian War. Its figure of a young woman in white with her arm raised may be echoed by the young girl with raised arm in "The Railway." Manet's lithograph "Civil War" (1871-1874), from the Baltimore Museum of Art's Lucas Collection, was occasioned by the uprising in Paris against the French government after the war ended. And also from the Lucas Collection is French artist Norbert Goeneutte's 1888 painting "The Pont de l'Europe and Gare Saint-Lazare."

"A Collector's Cabinet" presents in three small galleries a treasure trove of paintings, small sculpture, natural objects, books and scientific instruments such as were assembled by 17th-century collectors and shown in rooms they called cabinets. The centerpiece of the show is the Walters Art Gallery's well-known painting "The Archduke Albert and the Archduchess Isabella in a Collector's Cabinet" (about 1620) by Jan Brueghal the Elder and Adriaen Stalbemt.

The "Collector's" show has not only a Baltimore picture but a Baltimore precedent. About 20 years ago, the late Richard Randall, then director of the Walters, assembled a similar show at the Walters around the same painting.

The National Gallery of Art, at Constitution Avenue and 4th Street N.W. in Washington, is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sundays. "Manet, Monet and the Gare Saint-Lazare" runs through Sept. 20. "A Collector's Cabinet" runs through Aug. 9. For information, call 202-737-4215.

Big plans for Asian art

Asian Pacific Art Institute of America is the cumbersome title of a just-launched organization that resides in modest local quarters and has big plans.

Mu Jiashan, a 35-year-old Chinese artist, came to this country three years ago to join his wife, Qiong Wang, studying for her Ph.D. at Johns Hopkins University. Since moving here, he has shown his ink and watercolor paintings at the Maryland Institute, College of Art and Howard County Community College, and looks forward to a show at Towson University.

He has also organized and is current president of the Asian Pacific Art Institute, which resides in three rooms of a small office building on Baltimore National Pike near Ellicott City. It opened on June 20 with the current show of about 18 of Mu's paintings. After that, Mu plans an exhibit of the work of Taiwan ceramist Guo Hui Chen, then an exhibit of paintings by Yu Ling Wang, a Chinese painter living in Toronto, followed by a show of Japanese calligraphers.

But the art gallery is only one part of the institute. Mu says there is an art school teaching music, dance, art and ceramics, with a faculty of five and an enrollment of 40 students. And there are plans for an art publishing house and a language center teaching Chinese to Americans and English to Asian immigrants.

Mu says he is organizing a classical and folk Chinese music concert scheduled for Oct. 3 at Hopkins University's Shriver Hall.

Here's wishing the Asian Pacific Art Institute of America a future as bright as its hopes.

The Asian Pacific Art Institute of America, at 8585 Baltimore National Pike, is open Tuesdays through Fridays, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Saturdays, 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. The inaugural show, "Mu Jiashan's Exploring Modern Ink Painting Exhibition," continues through July 20. For information, call 410-750-9026.

Deadline approaches

The July 24 deadline nears for submitting applications for this year's Individual Artist Awards given by the Maryland State Arts Council. The council awards grants of $6,000, $3,000 and $1,000 to artists in the categories of visual arts, crafts; visual arts, photography; visual arts, three-dimensional including sculpture and installation; choreography; music composition; playwriting; fiction; and poetry.

Artists must be at least 18 years old and have lived in Maryland for six or more of the 12 months preceding submission of an application. All entries are judged by out-of-state jurors who decide on the basis of artistic merit alone.

For a grant application, call the Council at 410-767-6555. Completed applications must be postmarked no later than July 24, or delivered by that date to the Maryland State Arts Council at 601 N. Howard St.

Pub Date: 7/14/98

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