Visiting the MuseumExhibitionsCalendar of EventsUVA Art Museum

Saturday, Aug. 21 – Sunday, Oct. 10

Gallery Talk
Roger Stein, professor emeritus of U.Va.’s McIntire Department of Art
Sunday, Aug. 29, 2 p.m.

Gallery Talk
Ragamala Pages
Daniel Ehnbom, adjunct curator of South Asian Art and associate professor, McIntire Department of Art
Saturday, September 18, 2:00 p.m.

The University of Virginia Art Museum kicks off a yearlong exploration of the formation of American culture with "Jefferson In and Out," an exhibit that focuses on world influences that shaped Thomas Jefferson’s cultural interests. "Jefferson In and Out" opens at the University of Virginia Art Museum on Saturday, Aug. 21.

During the years between 1743 and 1826, the dates of Jefferson’s birth and death, the world was marked by social upheaval, including the struggle between monarchy and populace; intellectual wrestling between the rational and irrational; and cultural contact between East and West.

"Jefferson In and Out" sites Jefferson’s cultural interests, a subject explored previously in two museum exhibitions, "Thomas Jefferson’s Academical Village" and "Hindsight/Fore-site: Art for the New Millennium." Museum director Jill Hartz wrote in "Siting Jefferson," the catalog produced for the latter exhibition, "Jefferson was a cultured 18th-century man who appreciated the visual and performing arts."

The works in the exhibition reflect what was happening during Jefferson’s lifetime and pair paintings that reveal the complex, fluctuating world that influenced his cultural vision. Thus, South Asian Ragmala pages from manuscripts owned by the upper class are shown alongside Japanese woodblock prints that describe the life of courtesans whose outsider status is subverted by the proximity of their images to text describing noble activity. The neoclassical heroic paintings by Benjamin West and Angelica Kaufmann highlight the importance of the state versus the desires of the populace. These works are juxtaposed with prints by Francisco Goya, known for his critiques of the state, and a print by William Pether, which celebrates the dignity of the working class.

The exhibit is the first in a yearlong investigation of American cultural formation and explores the impact that cultural production has on the way we, as Americans, construct our sense of self.

Roger Stein, professor emeritus in the McIntire Department of Art, will give a Gallery Talk in the museum on Sunday, Aug. 29, at 2 p.m.