Of the 18,000 works in the museum collection, the majority are works on paper: various forms of prints, drawings, and photographs. Works on paper include excellent examples by masters of the print medium, like Dürer, Rembrandt, Daumier, Millet, and Japanese wood-block artists like Hokusai and Hiroshige. Many of these came from the Mahonri M. Young Estate gift and were prints collected by the Weirs and Young as source material for their work.
Our photography collection continues to grow through important donations each year and features important examples of western landscape and American photography icons.
Because these artistic media are typically light-sensitive, these artworks are limited in how long they can be exposed to light. Therefore,these images typically have to be rotated after three months.
Carl Heinrich Bloch (1834-1890), Peter’s Remorse, 1882, etching. Brigham Young University Museum of Art, 2014.
The Museum of Art has been collecting the art of Danish master Carl Bloch since 2001. That year, the museum acquired one of its signature pieces, Christ Healing the Sick at Bethesda, as well as a number of religiously-themed etchings by the artist.
Many of Bloch’s religious etchings derived from altarpieces he created for Danish churches. Peter’s Remorse, however, is a unique subject that Bloch only produced in etching form. He imbues the subject with empathic humanity characteristic of his work. The anguished Peter buries his head in his hand. A hen and a cock stand nearby, the cock throwing its head back, issuing its wrenching signal of Peter’s prophesied denial. Realizing his actions, the disciple’s form contracts inward, clutching his robe in desperate grief.
Édouard Manet (1832-1883), Dead Toreador, 1867, etching in sepia tone ink. Brigham Young University Museum of Art, purchase/gift of Mahonri M. Young Estate, 1959.
French artist Édouard Manet was an influential force in 19th-century realism and early modernism. He produced starkly naturalistic images, such as this etching of a Spanish toreador killed in the bullfight arena.
This image derived from a larger painting Manet created that showed the dead toreador, a bull, and other fighters in a crowded arena. The larger scene of the gored fighter—his abrupt and unpleasant death emphasized by the diagonal, upside-down view—received strong criticism when it first debuted in 1864. Afterwards, Manet cut the painting into pieces, from which he made two separate images, including Dead Toreador. He showed the revised painting in the Salon of 1867, this time to a more receptive audience, and likely created this etching shortly thereafter.
Marc Chagall (1887-1985), Moses and Aaron Before Pharaoh, 1956, etching. Brigham Young University Museum of Art, gift of R. Reed and Dorothy Fife Family, 2007.
Born in Russia to a deeply religious family, Marc Chagall created distinct dreamlike images rooted in folk art, childhood memories, and his Jewish heritage. Recognized as a pioneer of modernism, Chagall spent much of his career in Paris.
Chagall’s unique style is evident in this etching of the Exodus story. This print was part of a series of 105 Old Testament illustrations he created for a fames Parisian art dealer. Chagall spent two months in the Holy Land as preparation for the commission, an experience that awakened a deep connection with Jewish history, and a passion for Biblical narratives. His portrayal of the aged, earnest Moses petitioning the distant ruler for freedom evokes Chagall’s heartfelt witness of the oppression and genocide of his own Jewish people during the 20th century.
Albrecht Dürer (1471-1528), Presentation of the Virgin, 1505, woodcut. Brigham Young University Museum of Art, purchase/gift of Mahonri M. Young Estate, 1959.
Albrecht Dürer’s Presentation of the Virgin is part of a series focused on Mary’s life—a popular subject due to widespread veneration of the Virgin among Christians at the time. According to tradition, Mary’s parents took her to the temple to consecrate her to the Lord, as a token of gratitude for her miraculous birth. The young Mary rushes up the temple steps towards the High Priest, demonstrating her innate spiritual devotion. Dürer includes symbolic allusions to Jesus Christ throughout the work, foreshadowing Mary’s important role. The mythological figure over the archway may represent Eros, god of love, who anticipates Christ as the messenger of a purer, divine love. The money changers, who sit outside in the clothing of German merchants, remind viewers of Jesus’ purification of the temple. The sacrificial lambs bound on the ground also allude to Mary’s offspring as the fulfillment of the Mosiac law.
Dürer’s sophisticated treatment of lines and forms revolutionized printmaking, as did his fusion of Renaissance realism, Greco-Roman allusions, and 16th-century German life. His prints were widely collected by contemporaries during his lifetime and since. This print came from the holdings of J. Alden Weir and Mahonri Young, artists who both collected prints to study as they developed their own printmaking.
Dorothea Lange (1895-1965), Mrs. Neagle and Window, 1953, Gelatin silver print. Brigham Young University Museum of Art. Brigham Young University Museum of Art, purchased with funds provided by Jack and Mary Lois Wheatley. Copyright Dorothea Lange Collection, Oakland Museum of California, City of Oakland. Gift of Paul S. Taylor, 2007.
Dorothea Lange (1895-1965), Horseplay, Gunlock, Utah, 1953, Gelatin silver print. Brigham Young University Museum of Art. Brigham Young University Museum of Art, purchased with funds provided by Jack and Mary Lois Wheatley. Copyright Dorothea Lange Collection, Oakland Museum of California, City of Oakland. Gift of Paul S. Taylor, 2007.
Dorothea Lange (1895-1965), Toquerville, Utah, 1953, Gelatin silver print. Brigham Young University Museum of Art. Brigham Young University Museum of Art, purchased with funds provided by Jack and Mary Lois Wheatley. Copyright Dorothea Lange Collection, Oakland Museum of California, City of Oakland. Gift of Paul S. Taylor, 2007.
Dorothea Lange’s iconic photographs of American life secured her place as one of the most influential photographers of the 20th century. Lange’s projects periodically brought her to Utah, and in 1953, she turned her lens towards the residents of three southern Utah towns: St. George, Gunlock, and Toquerville.
Lange considered these small areas to be “Mormon towns,” as they were settled by pioneers of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and retained their predominant Latter-day Saint population and culture. Though the local residents were initially wary of Lange’s interest, after Lange received approval from Church leaders in Salt Lake City, residents welcomed her into their communities.
Andy Warhol (1928-1987), Marilyn Monroe (6/10), 1967, Serigraph. Brigham Young University Museum of Art, 1978.
Andy Warhol (1928-1987), Marilyn Monroe (7/10), 1967, Serigraph. Brigham Young University Museum of Art, 1978.
Andy Warhol first portrayed Marilyn Monroe following her death in 1962. The film star’s widespread allure and tragic demise fascinated the artist, as well as the American public. Warhol used a close-range publicity photo of the actress as his source. He places her at a scale that breaches personal space and also utilizes brash colors that mimic the flawed tints on 1960s color television. In doing so, Warhol’s print image erodes Marilyn’s humanity and implies the commodity nature of celebrity, where the starlet’s image and identity are consumed by an obsessive public.
Warhol himself because an international celebrity. He began producing his famous silkscreen prints of product logos and celebrity faces in 1967, the year Marilyn was printed. Hiring workers to mass produce his images, Warhol commented on the American veneration of celebrity.
This image is one of ten Marilyn Monroe screenprints in the Museum of Art collection.
Andy Warhol (1928-1987), Reigning Queens (Royal Edition) (Queen Elizabeth), 1985, screenprint and diamond dust on lenox museum board. Brigham Young University Museum of Art, gift of The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, 2013.
Andy Warhol (1928-1987), Reigning Queens (Royal Edition) (Queen Margrethe), 1985, screenprint and diamond dust on lenox museum board. Brigham Young University Museum of Art, gift of The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, 2013.
In 1985, Warhol created a large portfolio featuring images of the four reigning queens in the world at that time, including Queen Elizabeth II of England. Warhol based his images on media photographs of the queens, essentializing the images into bright solid colors. For Warhol, these women carried an allure of wealth and power status unique in the late 20th century global society. In this Royal Edition, Warhol incorporated fine bits of diamond dust, lending a dazzling sparkle to the images.
Warhol himself became an international celebrity. He worked as a successful commercial illustrator before producing his famous silkscreen prints of mass-produced brands and celebrity faces. The Museum of Art received the Reigning Queens portfolio as a gift from The Andy Warhol Foundation after previously receiving a gift of photographs from the Foundation in 2008.