A Curator’s Insights
CHESTERTOWN, MD— Eric Denker, the art scholar who curated the Kohl Gallery’s current exhibition, Reflections and Undercurrents: Ernest Roth and Printmaking in Venice, 1900-1940, will deliver a talk Wednesday, Oct. 23 at 5 p.m. The lecture, titled “From Whistler to Roth: Fifty Years of Printmaking in Venice, 1880-1930,” will take place in Decker Theatre, Gibson Center for the Arts.
Denker is an expert in areas that include Whistler, the history of printmaking, and Italian art and culture. He conducted pioneering research into American artist Ernest David Roth and his contemporaries working in Venice. Through a study of their prints, letters and diaries, he unearthed both artistic and personal connections among the artists that are reflected in the exhibition.
Denker, who earned his doctorate from the University of Virginia, is a Senior Lecturer in the Education Department of the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. He frequently lectures in Italy for the Smithsonian Institute and for the Scuola Internazionale di Grafica and is an adjunct professor at Georgetown and Cornell universities. His books include In Pursuit of the Butterfly: Portraits of James McNeill Whistler (1995), Whistler and His Circle in Venice (2003), and No Vulgar Hotel: The Desire and Pursuit of Venice (2007), which he co-wrote with his friend Judith Martin, aka “Miss Manners.”
The exhibition in Kohl Gallery features an impressive collection of etchings of Venice made by some of the finest printmakers of the first half of the twentieth century. Focused primarily on work by Roth, the exhibition also includes a print by James McNeill Whistler and works by other artists who worked in Venice between 1900 and 1940. The exhibition is made possible by the Trout Gallery at Dickinson College, where Denker earned his undergraduate degree and where the etchings were first exhibited. That original show has been divided into two concurrent exhibitions, the one running at the Kohl through December 10, and one at St. John’s College in Annapolis.
Denker will return to Chestertown on Wednesday, Dec. 4, for “An Afternoon in Venice with Judith Martin,” when he and Martin will chat about their shared love of Venice and their travel experiences there. That event is scheduled for 4 p.m. in Decker Theatre, Gibson Center for the Arts.