National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Chairman Rocco Landesman announced that the Brooklyn Museum and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, are among 832 nonprofit organizations nationwide to receive NEA Art Works grants. The Brooklyn Museum and the MFA have been recommended a $50,000 grant to support the exhibition John Singer Sargent Watercolors, a collaborative project of the two museums.
The first expansive exhibition of John Singer Sargent's watercolors in twenty years, this exhibition will present some ninety highlights from the important watercolor holdings of both Boston and Brooklyn, along with nine oil paintings. It will debut in Brooklyn, where it will be on view April 5 through July 28, 2013. It will be presented at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, in the fall of 2013, before traveling to the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.
"I'm proud to announce these 832 grants to the American public including John Singer Sargent Watercolors," said Chairman Landesman." These projects offer extraordinary examples of creativity in our country, including the creation of new work, innovative ways of engaging audiences, and exemplary education programs."
"We are grateful to the National Endowment for its support of this extraordinary exhibition of Sargent's watercolor masterpieces that offers a once-in-a-generation opportunity to view these exceptional collections together," said Brooklyn Museum Director Arnold L. Lehman.
In March 2012, the NEA received 1,509 eligible Art Works applications requesting more than $74 million in funding. The 832 recommended NEA grants total $22.3 million, span thirteen artistic disciplines and fields, and focus primarily on the creation of new works and the presentation of both new and existing works for the benefit of American audiences. Applications were reviewed by panels of outside experts convened by NEA staff, and each project was judged on its artistic excellence and merit.
Both the Brooklyn Museum and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, are comprehensive art museums with collections that encompass many cultures across time. Brooklyn's Sargent watercolors, purchased en masse from the artist's 1909 debut exhibition in New York, include subjects ranging from Venice scenes to Mediterranean sailing vessels to intimate portraits to the Bedouin subjects that Sargent executed during a 1905-6 trip through the Ottoman Levant and which are considered among the most outstanding works of the group. The watercolors purchased by the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, in 1912, were painted by Sargent with his Boston audience in mind and are more highly finished than the Brooklyn works, depicting subjects from his travels to the Italian Alps, as well as villa gardens near Lucca and the marble quarries of Carrara.
For a complete listing of projects recommended for Art Works grant support, please visit the NEA website at arts.gov.