Hermitage Museum opening new ‘Whistler & Company: The Etching Revival’ exhibit on Jan. 16

Living Local

NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — The Hermitage Museum has a new exhibit opening this month.

Whistler & Company: The Etching Revival will open on Saturday, January 16 through April 9 in the museum’s upstairs galleries. The show is on loan from the Reading Public Museum. Instead of having an opening party, officials have decided to do a safer, smaller Opening Day of hour increments with only 10-15 people per timeslot.

Expatriate American artist, James Abbot McNeill Whistler (American, 1834 –1903) played an essential role in the etching revival of the 19th and early 20th centuries, and will be the featured among some of his contemporary printmakers.

The show includes more than sixty works, with nearly a dozen by Whistler, whose gritty images of the River Thames, views of Venice and Parisian scenes revived, at least in part, the art of etching in the 19th century. Works from Whistler’s ‘Thames Set’ and ‘French Set’ will be featured in the exhibition.

The etching revival of the second half of the 19th century took hold in France, England and the United States. Artists set out to re-establish etching—the art of incising lines with an etching needle into a thin copper plate which was then dipped in an acid bath, inked and pressed into paper with the help of a printing press to create impressions—as an art form that could stand on its own.

Other British, French and American artists who participated in the etching revival will be featured in the exhibition including: Francis Seymour Haden, James McBey, Edwin Edwards, David Young Cameron, Muirhead Bone, Mortimer Menpes, Charles Meryon, Maxime Lalanne, Joseph Pennell, and Frank Duveneck, among others.

The exhibition will open in hour increments at a private Opening Day Event to ticket-holders on Saturday, January 16. Beginning at noon, each hour will feature live music, hot chocolate, tea, or dessert. Hermitage Members are invited to special VIP hours at 7 and 8 p.m. featuring a private tour with Curator of Collections Lindsay Neal and a champagne toast. Each time slot accommodates 10 to 15 people, and tickets are $5 for non-members and free for members.

Tickets are available on the Hermitage website.

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