March 11, 2022, Providence, RI—The RISD Museum announces Drawing Closer: Four Hundred Years of Drawing from the RISD Museum, on view March 12 through September 4, 2022.
Drawing Closer brings together 67 works from the RISD Museum’s collection of European drawings produced between the 1500s and the 1800s—some recently acquired, others never before exhibited. The exhibition is conceived as a guide to looking at these works from the perspectives of their makers while highlighting the breadth, depth, and variety of a living collection that is used today to teach and inspire students and visitors.
The exhibition and its accompanying digital catalog, is an invitation to consider how and why drawings were created, paying special attention to the materials they were made of and to the functions they served both in the artist’s studio and in the world outside it. Seven distinct but interrelated sections explore media and techniques such as pen, chalk, ink wash, and watercolor, as well as some of the traditional purposes of drawing, including observation, invention, preparation, and amusement.
“I am thrilled that after pandemic-related delays we can finally share this exhibition with the public”, states curator Jamie Gabbarelli, “I hope the show and the accompanying publication will increase the visibility of the RISD Museum's excellent but still under-recognized collection of European drawings. The selection and presentation of the works in the show is meant to highlight the collection's breadth, diversity, and relevance for art students and art lovers alike.”
This project is made possible by a lead grant from the Getty Foundation as part of its Paper Project initiative. “Drawing Closer is an excellent example of how our grants support curatorial experimentation to engage 21st-century museum audiences,” says Heather MacDonald, senior program officer at the Getty Foundation who oversees Paper Project grantmaking. “People are innately curious about how artworks are made, and the structure of this catalog and digital publication are a generous invitation to learn more about the craft behind the drawings in RISD’s collection.”
This project is made possible by a lead grant from the Getty Foundation. RISD Museum is supported by a grant from the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts, through an appropriation by the Rhode Island General Assembly and a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, and with the generous partnership of the Rhode Island School of Design, its Board of Trustees, and Museum Governors.