May 28, 2012

Remembering Shakespeare has explored David Garrick’s appropriation of Shakespeare, and the emergence of Shakespeare as an English national icon over the course of the eighteenth century.   “While these visions did appear”: Shakespeare on Canvas, a parallel exhibition at the Yale Center for British Art, considers the visual engagement with Shakespearean performance and text in the eighteenth century.  An online gallery shows some of the exhibition highlights, drawn from the permanent collections of the Yale Center for British Art. 

As exhibition curators Eleanor Hughes and Christina Smylitopoulos relate, “Artists and patrons in the eighteenth century responded to and encouraged the assertion of Shakespeare as Britain’s foremost national playwright. Through the remarkable efforts of David Garrick, the actor and Drury Lane theater manager, the plays flourished on the stage, while the promotion of the playwright as the “immortal bard” was seized as an opportunity to foster a British school of history painting.”

David Garrick and his wife by his Temple to Shakespeare, Hampton, painted by Johan Joseph Zoffany, ca. 1762. Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection 

While these visions did appear was curated by Eleanor Hughes, Associate Curator and Head of Exhibitions and Publications, and Christina Smylitopoulos, Postdoctoral Research Associate in the Department of Exhibitions and Publications at the Center.  It is on view through Sunday, July 29, 2012 at the Yale Center for British Art.

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