A Son and His Adoptive Father:
The Marquis de Lafayette and George Washington

Sept. 6 – Oct. 28, 2007

Mount Vernon Estate and Gardens, in partnership with Lafayette College, has organized a major traveling exhibition devoted to the “father-son” relationship between George Washington and the Marquis de Lafayette. Included are letters between Lafayette and Washington, paintings, prints, decorative arts, and other objects documenting the close relationship between the two men, which began with Lafayette’s arrival from France as a young man to join Washington’s fight for independence.

The Williams Center venue will include additional works from the Lafayette College art collection and special collections.

The exhibition begins a year of activities celebrating the ideals of the Marquis de Lafayette, including the Lives of Liberty lecture series and a campus-wide 250th birthday celebration on Thursday, Sept. 6.

“Brown Bag” lecture: Diane W. Shaw, “Lafayette in Philadelphia, 1777 and 1824”; Tuesday, Sept. 12, 12:10 p.m., Williams Center 108

See also “Lafayette, We Are Here,” an exhibition which explores ways in which American’s acknowledged their debt to the Marquis as they came to France’s aid in World War I. Lass Gallery, Skillman Library

A web site dedicated to the celebration and to the Marquis’ unique connection to the College provides information and updates.

Additional support for the exhibition at Lafayette College is provided by gifts from Lafayette Ambassador Bank and Jere G. Oren, class of 1950. Mr. Oren’s gift was made in memory of his parents, Samuel and Sophie Oren.

History Paintings from the Lafayette College Art CollectionNov. 5 – Dec. 16, 2007
“History paintings” depict events of particular significance to the artist’s society, intended to embody some interpretation of life or convey a moral or intellectual message. Painters offered a mythologized vision of their subjects to inspire patriotism and nostalgia in their contemporary viewers, rather than accurate visual records. Lafayette’s art collection, including the Kirby Collection of Historical Paintings, contains a number of fine examples of the genre.

The exhibition will be accompanied by a catalogue and lecture by guest curator Dr. Barbara J. Mitnick, a noted authority on American history painting.

lecture: Monday November 12, Williams Center 108, 4:10 p.m., reception to follow.
press release

Illustrated catalogue with essay by Mitnick available.

Isadore LaDuca: Recent WorksJan. 3-27, 2008

In his paintings, Easton artist Isadore LaDuca often uses seemingly disparate elements in order to achieve a sense of unity; landscapes, figures, abstract elements, and text may be torn apart and reorganized on the picture plane. LaDuca writes that this “fragmentation is expressive of our contemporary world consciousness; the process of painting is my way of seeking a more personal and spiritual reunion.”

Reception for the artist: Sunday, Jan. 6, 3-5 p.m.; informal gallery talk at 4 p.m.

Catalogue with essay by Joseph M. Chapuck available in the gallery, or as an online, pdf version. Press release

John “Crash” Matos: Recent Works

Feb. 3 – March 16, 2008

A pioneer in the graffiti art movement, Matos began his career as a teenager, painting New York City subway cars. He was a key figure in the East Village art scene—one of the most creative art movements of the 1980s, and one that represented a breakthrough in the relationship between art and culture. His visually exciting and vibrant works have been described by the Flint Institute of Art as a “visual link between street life and established society.” Matos recently completed a limited edition run of 50 painted guitar bodies from the Fender Custom Shop. The project, started in 2004, was inspired by the graffiti-style Stratocaster bodies he had painted for Eric Clapton.

Artist’s talk, Friday, Feb. 8, noon, gallery

Opening party Saturday, Feb. 9, 7:30-9 p.m.
Music by D.J. ACE.

Brown bag lecture, Thursday, Feb. 21, 12:15 p.m.
Robert S. Mattison will talk about the East Village Art movement.

Felix Forster ’09: “Graffiti: An Introduction to Style,” Thursday, Feb. 27, 7 p.m., Williams Center 108

The Performative Impulse in Recent Chinese Photography

March 24 – May 24

Guest curator Dan Mills will investigate performance—especially the practice of autobiographical performance—in recent Chinese photography. The exhibition will include artists who document performances of extreme endurance, are humorous, pose philosophical questions, and raise issues about the place of the individual in Chinese society. Dan Mills is director of the Samek Art Gallery, Bucknell University, Lewisburg, Pennsylvania.

press release

Curator’s talk: Monday, April 8, 4:10 p.m., Williams Center Room 108.
Reception to follow.