Inspired Forms of the Female Figure
November 29, 2016 - June 3, 2017
The AMA is proud to exhibit a portion of the immense Shaffer Collection which was gifted to the museum in the late 1980s and contains some of the oldest pieces in our permanent collection. The generous support from Mr. and Mrs. Steven Hinton and the late Eloise Haley allowed many pieces of this collection to be framed. This exhibition demonstrates the consistency of the female figure and its prominence in art using the museum’s Italian Renaissance drawings juxtaposed with examples of post-modern works that reveal an evolution in the thinking and the depiction of traditional figure drawing.
The Italian sketches indicate that preparation and investigation were a part of the artistic process of the Renaissance. The art of the Renaissance valued idealistic figures and balance, in hopes of creating a perfect composition. In contrast, the post-modern pieces that will be displayed show persistent abstraction and symbolism. Twentieth century artists saw the female nude as a classical form to be modified to the artistic and political mood of the time. While the transition from classical to contemporary alters the appearance of the female nude, she is a subject that has and will remain a constant.