Take the “Grand Tour” through the Italian Peninsula at the new art exhibit in Jundt Art Museum. Viewers and visitors are transported to Italy by spending time in Rome, Florence, Venice and Milan as they browse through the gallery and explore different pieces influenced by Italy.
The exhibit, “A Grand Tour: Images of Italy from the Permanent Collection of the Jundt Art Museum" is one of the new spring displays in Gonzaga's on-campus art museum. The art was put up at the beginning of the semester and will be on display until May 9, which is graduation weekend.
“It is interesting to see the same places, the same beautiful, romantic places in Italy, being portrayed in many different ways as you walk through the exhibit,” said Karen Kaiser, the curator of education for Jundt Art Museum.
In 1984, Norman and Esther Bolker gifted Jundt Art Museum with almost 800 pieces. These have been the founding collection for Jundt and remain as its core works.
In the gifted collection, there are a number of art pieces, mostly 18th-century works, in which Italy is the subject matter.
The goal of this specific art exhibit is to build an exhibition that contextualizes original grouping of objects in Italy, according to Paul Manoguerra, director and curator for the museum.
“It’s a way of thematically putting work from our collection in the Jundt Art Museum into an exhibition,” he said.
Most of the artwork is from the collection that was given to GU by the Bolkers. But there are also other pieces featured that depict Italy and Italian influence from a variety of artists.
The exhibit is roughly chronological. It moves the visitor from the earliest 16th-century to artists working today who still travel to Italy for inspiration.
Printmaking is one of the prominently displayed techniques used in this artwork, specifically copper etching. James McNeill Whistler, who lived from 1834 to 1903, is one of the most famous featured artists in the collection.
He was a participant in the revival of printmaking in France, England and the United States with his Italian-inspired copper etchings. His works can be found all over the walls in the gallery.
“There is no way that you could ever see too much art," Kaiser said. "This is a good opportunity to see a wide variety of work by several artists from a lot of different times. We are able to see Renaissance work, along with artwork from contemporary artists. They all have different interpretations."
Manoguerra has been working at Jundt Art Museum for six and a half years as its primary curator and director, and he is passionate about the significance of this semester’s display. He said it is relevant, important and meaningful to GU students, especially those connected to the keystone study abroad program in Florence.
“This collection is important in connecting the concepts of global engagement and study abroad travel to an undergraduate experience," Manoguerra said. "It also connects us to the Jesuit university traditions and history."
Many professors on campus are signing their classes up for tours and curating assignments to allow students to explore everything this collection has to offer. Manoguerra said he believes students will connect with the art.
The exhibit will be on display for the entire semester, and the museum is open Monday to Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Students and the public are welcome, and there is no entrance fee.
“The collection features subject matters that we recognize, and it highlights landscapes and places that we have seen before," Kaiser said. "If you don’t go to a lot of museums but are interested, this is a good place to start. It’s approachable art."