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Sunday, May 19
The Indiana Daily Student


Eskenazi pays homage to the 18th century in new watercolor exhibit


The Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Museum of Art opened its first feature exhibit of the semester Aug. 5.“Landscape and Abstraction in Watercolor” features a variety of watercolor paintings dating back more than two centuries.  

The exhibit draws from Eskenazi’s permanent collection and includes works that date back over two centuries, offering a fascinating amount of history. The variety of watercolors depicts the evolution of the intersection between landscape painting and abstract approaches in Europe, the United States and Latin America.  

American and European Art curators Jennifer McComas and Galina Olmsted co-curated this museum feature. They said the tedious project took almost a year to develop. The process involved carefully selecting each painting in order to fulfill the goal of creating a unique viewing experience.  

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“The works really veer into abstraction which is almost like a natural outgrowth of landscape in some ways,” McComas said.  “So we wanted to link that and show a narrative that actually stretches across two centuries.” 

The emergence of watercolor paintings marked a significant period in the history of art around the 18th century, according to a plaque on display in the gallery. The popularity of this medium was due to its portability, versatility and quick-drying properties. This artistic innovation allowed artists' delicate precision in a soft color palette. Some of the most popular creations from this period are displayed on the walls of the gallery, McComas said. 

“We have sectioned the Expedition where there are more modern 20th-century watercolors alongside 18th-century watercolors,” Olmsted said. “We tried to be really creative in the way that we were presenting these watercolors.”   

Olmsted encourages students to take time and experience the exhibit while they have the chance. Many of the treasures haven’t been displayed to the public before, she said.  

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“This was my first time walking into the museum and I’m happy I did,” Mason Montgomery, a senior visiting the gallery said. “I found it really cool how detailed they were given they were watercolor paintings.”  

If you are unable to make it to this exhibition, the museum makes it possible for individuals to see works from the collections that are placed in storage and not currently on view.  Visit the Eskenazi website to make an appointment to see the artwork of your choice. Whether for a class or just personal interest, the museum is happy to help, McComas said.  

The exhibit will remain open until Dec. 10 on the third floor of the museum in the right wing. 

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