Art & Architecture Students Experience Benjamin West Exhibit at UMMA
On September 27, students in Orelia Dann’s American Art and Architecture class traveled to see the University of Michigan Museum of Art’s new exhibit, “Benjamin West: General Wolfe and the Art of Empire.” As students in the class have learned over the past several weeks, West was one of the great figures of early American art, and his painting, “The Death of General Wolfe,” is the centerpiece of the UMMA’s exhibit.
Students in the class were fortunate enough to receive a private walkthrough of the exhibit and a detailed lecture on West’s main painting just days after the gallery opened. As Dann mentioned to her class afterwards, “West’s piece is most likely the greatest painting currently residing in Michigan.”
“It was a great treat to have a real life view of a painting we studied so much in class,” noted Rae Schueller ’13.
Along with West’s featured painting, the UMMA exhibit also included other artists’ renditions of General Wolfe during the French and Indian War and preserved maps and historical artifacts courtesy of the University’s William L. Clements Historical Library. The exhibit runs through January.
Dann’s class is continuing its study of American art and has also spent time exploring early American architecture. Later in the semester, Dann hopes her class can take more trips, including a visit to the Frank Lloyd Wright house in Grand Rapids.
–Submitted by John Lazarsfeld ’13