Harn Museum of Art Displays French Art Featuring Women in the 18th – Early 19th Centuries


GAINESVILLE, FL, Sept. 21, 2017— The Harn Museum of Art at the University of Florida will present an exhibition of more than 150 drawings, pastels, paintings and sculptures addressing some of the most important and defining questions of women’s lives in the 18th and early 19th centuries. Becoming a Woman in the Age of Enlightenment: French Art from The Horvitz Collection will be on view from Oct. 6 to Dec. 31, 2017.

Ranging from spirited, improvisational sketches and figural studies to highly finished drawings of exquisite beauty, the works included in the exhibition are by many of the most prominent artists of the time. They include Antoine Watteau, Nicolas Lancret, François Boucher, Jean-Honoré Fragonard, as well as lesser-known artists both male and female, such as Anne Vallayer-Coster, Gabrielle Capet, François-André Vincent and Philibert-Louis Debucourt.

Becoming a Woman in the Age of Enlightenment will be organized into sections that address cultural attitudes and conditions that shaped how women were defined in the 18th and early 19th centuries. These sections include “The Fair Sex: Conceptions and Paradigms of Woman;” “Women in Training;” “What’s Love Got To Do With It?;” “Married with Children;” “Dressing the Part;” “Aging Gracefully;” “Pleasurable Pursuits;” “Private Pleasures” and “Work: Leaving it to the Professionals.”

Becoming a Woman will offer opportunities to consider how its themes compare to some of the most pressing social issues of our own time and how things may or may not have changed,” said Melissa Hyde, guest curator of the exhibition. “Although the circumstances and the specifics have changed, pay equity, reproductive rights, violence against women and work-family balance are but a few of the many women’s issues covered in the exhibition that still remain today.”

Becoming a Woman is curated by Melissa Hyde, Professor of Art History and Research Foundation Professor, University of Florida, and the late Mary D. Sheriff, W.R. Kenan J. Distinguished Professor of Art History, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and is organized by Alvin L. Clark, Jr, Curator, The Horvitz Collection and The J.E. Horvitz Research Curator, Harvard Art Museums/Fogg. An illustrated catalogue will accompany the exhibition and be available for purchase in the Museum Store. This exhibition is made possible by the generous support of the Londono Family Endowment, the C. Frederick & Aase B. Thompson Foundation, Dr. M. F. Smith and Mr. Carl E. Wisler, Marcia Issacson, Kenneth and Laura Berns and Visit Florida with additional support from the Harn Program Fund and a group of women in the UF community.

Admission to the museum is free. For more information, call 352-392-9826 or visit harn.ufl.edu.

Images are available upon request.

The Harn is offering a number of related programs providing an opportunity for visitors to engage in conversation and learn more about the works on view. All programs are free and open to the public unless noted otherwise.

Member pARTy
Thursday, Oct. 56 – 8:30 p.m.

Become a Harn Member for free at harn.ufl.edu/join and be among the first to see the exhibition. There will also be an opportunity to join at the door the night of the event.

Girl Talk: A Conversation
Sunday, Oct. 8, 3 p.m.
Melissa Hyde, guest curator of the exhibition and UF Professor of Art History, and Maura Gleeson, Doctoral Candidate in Art History at UF, will take visitors on a conversational tour of the exhibition while offering new perspectives and insight into the works on view.

Dance Performance: Banshee
Sunday, Oct. 15, 3 p.m.
Haley Simmons, Center for World Arts / Harn Museum Choreographer-in-Residence, will present her senior thesis work in the exhibition. This dance theatre performance, incorporating movement and verbalized text, examines the role of fine art, popular culture and folklore in the subjugation, victimization and criminalization of women.

Art Educator Workshop: Art, Identity & Social Change
Wednesday, Oct. 182 – 4:30 p.m.
This workshop for K-12 art educators will investigate art as a catalyst for social change. Harn Museum curators and educators will provide an in-depth look at this exhibition as well as a preview of the upcoming exhibition History, Labor, Life: The Prints of Jacob Lawrence. Strategies for class discussions and formal analysis will accompany gallery and classroom lesson plans.

Educator workshops are free, but seating is limited. ACPS teachers will earn 3 in-service points for participation—register for course 20989 Section 26087 in ACIIS. Non-ACPS teachers can register via email to bbreslin@harn.ufl.edu

Thinking Women: Art and Representation in the Eighteenth Century
A Symposium in Honor of Mary D. Sheriff
Friday, Oct. 20, 6 p.m.: Keynote address with reception following
Saturday, Oct. 21, 9:30 a.m. – 5:15 p.m.
Sunday, Oct. 22, 9 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
This academic program features leading historians and art historians of 18th and early 19th century Europe. Presentations will range from explorations of gender, race, and representation, to women and the visual arts—all in relation to cultural, philosophical, political and social debates that are as pressing today as they were during the Age of Enlightenment. Lynn Hunt, Distinguished Research Professor, University of California, Los Angeles, will be the keynote speaker for the symposium presenting “The Woman Artist and the Uncovering of the Social World.” A full schedule is available at harn.ufl.edu/lectures-talks. The symposium is sponsored by the University of Florida Harn Eminent Scholar Chair in Art History (School of Art and Art History), the International Center, the Department of History, the Center for the Humanities and the Public Sphere (Rothman Endowment) and the Center for Gender, Sexualities and Women’s Studies Research.

Women of Culture at the UF Cultural Plaza
Tuesday, Oct. 24
Visitors to the UF Cultural Plaza during the following series of events will discover art and music by women in the 18th century
Phillips Center: 2 – 3 p.m., Behind-the-scenes of the production of “The Other Mozart” with playwright and actress, Sylvia Milo, and composer Nathan Davis (free)
Harn Museum: 
5 – 7:30 p.m., Enjoy extended hours and exhibition tours of Becoming a Woman in the Age of Enlightenment (free)
Phillips Center: 7:30 p.m., “The Other Mozart” performance (tickets required)
Sylvia Milo’s one-woman theatrical piece, “The Other Mozart” tells Nannerl Mozart’s story. A prodigy, keyboard virtuoso, and composer, she performed throughout Europe with her brother to equal acclaim, but her work has been lost to history. Tickets available for purchase at performingarts.ufl.edu/tickets.

Family Day: Becoming You!
Saturday, Nov. 41 – 4 p.m.

Families with children are invited to take a tour of portraiture in the exhibition. Together, they will discover similarities and differences between today and 18th century France through themes of childhood, family life, work and fashion. After the tour, participants will create a poster about growing up, expressing oneself and imagining the future. This program is ideal for families with children ages 5+, but all ages are welcome.

Museum Nights: Wonder Women
Thursday, Nov. 96 – 9 p.m.
Visitors will find inspiration in the “Wonder Women” of the exhibition. This dynamic evening event is for people of all genders and ages, and features activities, Art Blast tours, discussions and performances. Museumgoers will learn about being a woman in the past, and connect with campus and community groups that further female success in the present.

Gallery Talk
A Death in the Family: Women, Subjecthood and Violence in Academic Painting

Sunday, Nov. 12, 3 p.m.
Matthew Jarvis, UF Visiting Assistant Professor in Modern Art History, will discuss the role of subjectivity and the female body as it relates to violence in and around the time of the French Revolution of 1789. This talk will explore the function of competing narratives around the female form and what these narratives reveal about the social structure of the Academy.

Ask an Artist: Portraiture and Identity Discussion
Sunday, Nov. 19, 3 p.m.
Join Richard Heipp, Bethany Taylor and Daniel Stepp in a public discussion about portraiture and identity in art, with a particular look at works in the exhibition. As artists and professors, their individual perspectives and practices will encourage new and varied ways of experiencing and thinking about portraiture in this exhibition and the genre broadly. Email eking@harn.ufl.edu with Subject Line “Ask an Artist” to submit a question in advance.


Media Contact
Tami Wroath
Director of Marketing and Public Relations
Harn Museum of Art


About the Samuel P. Harn Museum of Art
Founded in 1990, the Harn Museum of Art is an integral part of the University of Florida. The Harn contributes to an interconnected, international community by integrating the arts and culture into curricula throughout the university’s system of colleges and centers. Its holdings include more than 10,000 works in five main collecting areas: Asian art, African art, photography, modern art of the Americas and Europe, and international contemporary art. The museum also has noteworthy collections of Oceanic and Ancient American Art and works on paper. In addition to rotating installations drawn from its permanent collection, the Harn organizes traveling exhibitions, public lectures, panel discussions, academic symposia, and educational programs for adults, students, and children.

The Harn Museum of Art, at 3259 Hull Road in Gainesville, Florida, is part of the University of Florida’s Cultural Plaza, which is also home to the Florida Museum of Natural History and the Phillips Center for the Performing Arts. Admission is free. Hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday. The museum is open until 9 p.m. the second Thursday of every month for Museum Nights. The Camellia Court Café is open Tuesday through Saturday 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. For more information call 352-392-9826 or visit harn.ufl.edu.

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