Art Institute of Chicago Presents Major Chicago Collection of Works on Paper
The Art Institute of Chicago will present Dreams and Echoes: Drawings and Sculpture in the David and Celia Hilliard Collection, an exhibition of 115 works on paper and small sculptures, ranging in date from the 16th to the late 20th century. The exhibition, on view from October 20, 2013 to February 16, 2014 in the Jean and Steven Goldman Prints and Drawings Galleries in the Richard and Mary L. Gray Wing of the Art Institute, showcases the wide range of the Hilliards' interests, from well-known artists such as Edgar Degas and Henri Matisse to 17th-century Dutch landscape artists to the visionary work of the Symbolists. Drawn from one of the most significant private collections in Chicago, Dreams and Echoesrepresents 40 years of a shared enterprise and the unerring eyes of the Hilliards, who have followed their intellectual curiosity to acquire strong examples of French, German, and British art across many periods, with a particular focus on the late 19th century. Alongside the work of its acknowledged masters, there is also the fresh perspective of the less familiar but startling and distinctive art of the Symbolists, precursors to the modern and heralds of a revolutionary change in style and subject matter.
"Working with both Celia and David Hilliard has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my many years at the Art Institute," said Douglas Druick, President and Eloise W. Martin Director of the museum. "They have been staunch supporters of the museum for nearly four decades, and they have come to embody for me all that is remarkable about the American museum model of private support, which relies on the generosity of individuals motivated not only by a passion for art but by a vision of civic responsibility. We are grateful not only for the opportunity to showcase this remarkable collection but also for the more than 60 works they have already given or promised to the museum. With this gift, the Art Institute's distinction as one of the best collections of works on paper in the world is assured well into the future."
"Collecting is for us a journey," said David and Celia Hilliard. "It's an intellectual journey, and we hope that visitors will be able to see in this exhibition the migration of our interests through centuries of artists and their works. But it has been a literal journey too, an exciting and rewarding engagement with scholars, dealers, and other collectors here and abroad. Underscoring it all is the passion we share for drawings, which are for us the embodiments of an artist's first and truest impulse and testaments to the sense of struggle on paper to give these thoughts a fresh and vivid form. It is this ever-present character of experimentation, of problems as yet unresolved, that is so engaging."