The Artist’s Workshop in Medieval and Renaissance Europe will draw from Vanderbilt’s collections to feature approximately thirty-five works from the late medieval and early Renaissance period in Europe, with twelve Renaissance paintings from the Samuel H. Kress Collection (gifted to the George Peabody College for Teachers, now Vanderbilt University Fine Arts Gallery, in 1961) as the foundation of the show.
The Artist’s Workshop will be presented to coincide with the Frist Art Museum’s exhibition Medieval Bologna: Art for a University City (October 29, 2021–February 6, 2022), as well as the 2021 Andrew Ladis Memorial Trecento Conference. This biannual conference—co-hosted next year by the Frist Museum, the Vanderbilt Department of History of Art and Architecture and the Vanderbilt University Fine Arts Gallery—will bring internationally-recognized historians of fourteenth-century Italian art to Nashville. The Artist’s Workshop at Vanderbilt will complement the Frist exhibition by lending a special focus on the artist’s atelier and collaborative artistic process in fourteenth- through sixteenth-century Europe. Scholarly interpretation through a full-color catalog, as well as interactive digital displays, will shed light on the organization and structure of shops, the techniques used in creating painted panels and illuminated pages and the role of artists in society.
In addition to the Samuel H. Kress Collection paintings on view, other rare objects from the Vanderbilt collection will be featured, including an enameled corpus from a thirteenth-century Limoges workshop, a fifteenth-century marble relief sculpture from Italy, a fifteenth-century book of hours (from Special Collections at the Jean & Alexander Heard Libraries) and a stained glass panel of St. Barbara from sixteenth-century Flanders, among other works of art.
This exhibition is supported by a generous grant from the Samuel H. Kress Foundation. This award will allow the Gallery to produce substantial catalog that will feature, and generate further scholarship on, the full collection of Samuel H. Kress paintings and medieval objects that Vanderbilt holds in its teaching collection. The publication will be produced in collaboration with Vanderbilt’s History of Art faculty Dr. Sheri Shaneyfelt (Principal Senior Lecturer, Italian Renaissance Art) and Dr. Elizabeth Moodey (Associate Professor of History of Art, Late Medieval Art and Illuminated Manuscripts). The award will also fund the purchase of several wall-mounted cases and freestanding vitrines to display select artworks on view.