An American's Passion for British Art: Paul Mellon's Legacy
20 October 2007—27 January 2008
In The Sackler Wing of Galleries, Burlington House
JMW Turner, 'Dort, or Dordrecht, the Dort Packet-boat from Rotterdam Becalmed', 1818. Oil on canvas, 157.5 x 233 cm. Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, Paul Mellon Collection. Photo Yale Center for British Art/Richard Caspole
The exhibition has been organised by the Royal Academy of Arts and the Yale Center for British Art
To mark the centenary of the birth of Paul Mellon (1907 – 1999), one of the greatest collectors of British art, The Royal Academy of Arts presents an exhibition of major works from the Paul Mellon Collection at the Yale Center for British Art.
An unparalleled opportunity to experience some of the finest works of British art, the exhibition features more than 150 works, including prints, drawings, paintings, rare books and manuscripts. Featured in the exhibition are many objects that have not been seen by the British public since they were purchased, as well as major works by artists such as Reynolds, Gainsborough, Stubbs, Constable, Turner and Blake.
Paul Mellon was born into one of the most powerful banking families in the US. Together with the fellow Pittsburgh families of Carnegie and Frick, the Mellon family shared a strong commitment to public philanthropy. Paul Mellon’s interest in British culture ranged from horse breeding and racing to building the most significant private collection of British art outside the United Kingdom.
John Constable, 'Hadleigh Castle, The Mouth of the Thames - Morning After a Stormy Night', 1829. Oil on canvas, 121.9 x 164.5 cm. Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, Paul Mellon Collection. Photo Yale Center for British Art/Richard Caspole
The exhibition includes early Americana and exceptional rare books and manuscripts including works by William Blake. Works range in scale from miniatures by Hilliard and small-scale works on paper to large-scale oil paintings. The representative collection of great British watercolours includes paintings by JR Cozens, Thomas Girtin, Richard Parkes Bonington and Paul Sandby. The oil paintings featured comprise works by Reynolds, Gainsborough, Constable, Canaletto, Hogarth, and Turner’s outstanding marine painting, Dort or Dordrecht: The Dort Packet-Boat from Rotterdam Becalmed, which will be seen in the UK for the first time since it was purchased in 1966.
The Bank of New York Mellon Corporation is a global financial services company and leading provider of financial services for institutions, corporations and high-net-worth individuals, the Corporation operates in 37 countries serving more than 100 markets. It has more than $20 trillion in assets under custody and administration and $1 trillion in assets under management.
"The exhibition is a reflection of our passion for supporting the arts as well as a perspective on a period of great importance to British painting. We are delighted to be supporting the Royal Academy and this celebration of British art," said Helena Morrissey and William Kerr, Co-chairs of the Corporation's European Region.
The Bank of New York Mellon Corporation
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