When headed to the Toledo Museum of Art this spring, stop by the Hitchock Gallery to view a display handpicked by art history students at The University of Toledo.The exhibition, “Strong Sensations: Impressionist and Symbolist Works on Paper, 1860-1900,” will be on display through Sunday, June 20.
Dr. Marc Gerstein, professor of art history, began his course on Impressionism and Symbolism this semester with lectures about the art of this time period. With help from the museum, he identified its collection of prints from 1860 to 1900, and from those, the 17 students in the class selected what they wanted to include in the exhibition.
“It was a struggle in many ways for the students to decide what they liked, but also to have a balance in styles, artists, subjects and representations of different aspects of that period,” Gerstein said.
In the end, the students selected 32 works for the walls and 13 artist-illustrated books.
The class then needed to decide how to install the works in the galleries. They opted for a thematic organization and then actually put it together, figuring out how the works should be grouped and how they would be placed on the walls and in the cases. The students also researched and wrote the labels for each of the works.
“This really gave me the opportunity to help put an exhibition together rather than just being told how to do it,” said Maralee Hope, a senior majoring in art history. “It was really a hands-on lesson on a professional scale for all of us.”
Jamie Haeger, a sophomore art history major, said she learned many more details about art from the time period through planning the exhibition.
“I’m a very visual learner and being able to learn about all of this by seeing it, working with it, and writing about it will definitely help me retain the details,” she said. “I got a lot more out of the class by being able to see the artwork and realize, ‘Wow this is a Degas print.’”
The works in the exhibition are by French and northern European artists, including Edouard Manet, Paul Gauguin, Edgar Degas, Vincent van Gogh, Edvard Munch and Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec.
The exhibition is part of a new initiative as the Art History Program establishes a concentration in art museum practices.
Admission is free to the Toledo Museum of Art to see “Strong Sensations: Impressionist and Symbolist Works on Paper, 1860-1900.” Hours are Tuesday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Friday from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sunday from noon to 6 p.m.