Spanish Sojourns closed on March 9, 2014.
Spanish Sojourns is the first museum exhibition dedicated to the Spanish paintings of Robert Henri (1865-1929), one of the most influential American artists of the early 20th century. A leading proponent of the urban realist style that characterized the art of the Ashcan School, Henri was widely celebrated as a painter and a teacher.
Henri traveled to Spain seven times between 1900 and 1926 and produced a substantial body of work inspired by that country’s citizens and culture. His portraits present a dazzling cross-section of Spanish society—famous dancers, dashing bullfighters, spirited gypsies, blind street singers and weathered old peasants—as he masterfully captures the spirit of unique individuals.
Henri’s Spanish canvases were well received during his lifetime; many quickly found homes in prominent museum collections around the country. The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City purchased Henri’s Spanish Gypsy in 1914, its first acquisition by an Ashcan School artist, and has loaned it to the Telfair for Spanish Sojourns. Other American museums also have made major loans, culminating in a groundbreaking exhibition that presents more than forty of Henri’s Spanish works. Together, the paintings reveal Henri’s ongoing commitment to portraying the essence of Spanish tradition.
The exhibition has been in development for over five years and was inspired by one of the most beloved paintings in the Telfair’s collection. La Madrileñita, which typically hangs in the Telfair Academy, originally purchased directly from Robert Henri for the Telfair by Gari Melchers in 1919.
Spanish Sojourns will tour nationally, traveling to the San Diego Museum of Art and the Mississippi Museum of Art after its time in Savannah. The exhibition has been awarded major grants from prestigious institutions including the National Endowment for the Arts.
Spanish Sojourns is accompanied by a fully illustrated hardcover catalogue that presents new scholarship on Henri and places his work in the context of the other American artists, architects and writers who were inspired by Spain in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Spanish Sojourns is organized by Telfair Museums.
This exhibition is made possible by the generous support of Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation, Alice and Bob Jepson, the Terra Foundation for American Art, the Mr. and Mrs. Raymond J. Horowitz Foundation for the Arts, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Funding for the exhibition catalogue has been provided by the Telfair Academy Guild.
SPANISH SOJOURNS EVENTS
TAG Evening Lecture Series
Telfair offers a four-part evening lecture series by the key scholars and curators involved in the exhibition and accompanying catalogue. The series opens with a pre-exhibition lecture by Courtney McNeil to provide background on artist Robert Henri. The exhibition opens with a lecture by Valerie Ann Leeds, an expert on Henri and a key consulting curator on the project. Former Telfair Curator and originator of the exhibition concept, Holly Koons McCullough, will return for a lecture on Henri’s Spanish models, and the series closes with noted scholar Elizabeth Boone, who will address Spain as a source of inspiration for American artists. All lectures are free and open to members or with paid museum admission. Seating is limited and on a first come, first served basis. Sponsored by the Telfair Academy Guild. Additional funding provided by Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation.
October 3, 6 pm
“Robert Henri in America: His Life and Influence,” by Courtney A. McNeil, Telfair Museums Curator of Art. Light reception follows.
Members’ Lecture and Opening Reception
October 17, 6 pm
“Seeking the Spirit of Old Spain: Robert Henri and Spanish Themes, 1904 to 1924,” by Valerie Ann Leeds, scholar specializing in the work of Robert Henri & the Ashcan School and chief curatorial advisor for Spanish Sojourns. Reception follows lecture, celebrating the opening of Spanish Sojourns and Warhol/JFK:November 22, 1963.
November 7, 6 pm
“Gitanos, Bailadoras and Toreros: Robert Henri’s Spanish Types,” by Holly Koons McCullough, former Telfair Director of Collections and Exhibitions. Light reception follows.
December 5, 6 pm
“The Spanish Element in Our Nationality: Rethinking the Creation of American Identity in the Late Nineteenth Century,” by M. Elizabeth Boone, Professor of History of Art, Design and Visual Culture at the University of Alberta, Canada. Light reception follows.
Henri/Warhol Director’s Circle Preview Dinner
October 16, 6 pm
Jepson Center, Dinner to follow at The Chatham Club
Seating is limited and available on a first come, first served basis. Cost is $85 per person. Reservations and pre-payment required by October 9, 2013. RSVP to Catherine Renner at 912.790.8844 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sizzling Salsa Dance Series
Tuesdays, November 12, 19 and December 3, 6 pm
Price per lesson: $10 non-members / $5 Telfair members.
Professional dancer Austin Williams will teach the Salsa to students of all levels, beginner to expert. Lessons take place in the Telfair Academy rotunda. Dancers may pay in advance to attend the lesson block or drop-in to take one or two lessons.
Thursday, December 5, 7 pm
$20 non-members / $10 Telfair members.
Salsa Savannah dancers will perform and continue instruction throughout the evening while DJ Josh spins the best sounds of Latin beats in the Jepson Center atrium. Hors d’oeuvres and cash bar.
Free Week and Family Day / Jepson Center
Programs are free and open to the public sponsored by the City of Savannah Department of Cultural Affairs. Additional funding provided by Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation, Georgia Power Foundation, Inc., and the AGL Resources Foundation.
Flamenco Dance Workshop
Saturday, November 23, 10 am
Offered by Atlanta-based Flamenco group, Aire Flamenco. Free by reservation; call 912.790.8827.
Free Family Day
Saturday, November 23, 1-4 pm
Activities include bilingual tours, hands-on activities and a 3 pm dance performance by Aire Flamenco.
Contributing Sponsors: Anonymous, Mr. and Mrs. Curtis G. Anderson, Malinda and Fred Bergen, Inge A. Brasseler, Mr. and Mrs. Darryl Brown, Joan and Gary Capen, Glen and Connie Darbyshire, Domenico and Eleanore De Sole, Julius and Danyse Edel, Bob and Jean Faircloth, Mr. T. Mills Fleming and Dr. Marianne M. Fleming, Marla and Morris Geffen, Nancy and Lawrence Gutstein, Frances and John Kane, Bailee Tenenbaum Kronowitz Cultural Arts Fund, Ms. Candace Lanier, Dr. Richard F. Leighton, Mrs. Robert O. Levitt, Mr. and Mrs. Thomas R. McWhorter, Wilson and Linda Fisk Morris, Elizabeth and Ted Muller, Mr. John T. Neises, Mr. and Mrs. E. Michael Powers, Mr. and Mrs. Stephen Rabinowitz, Thomas V. and Susan G. Reilly, Cheri D. and Benjamin R. Roach, Mrs. Rosaleen Roxburgh, Barbara and Michael Ruddy, Elfrida Barrow Sinkler, Jacqueline and Ken Sirlin, Philip and Cathy Solomons, Mrs. Helen R. Steward, Telfair Academy Guild, Mr. and Mrs. John L. Tucker, Mary and Marty Vernick, Cindy and Don Waters.
Robert Henri (American, 1865-1929); Portrait of El Matador, Felix Asiego, 1906; Oil on canvas; 77 x 36 inches; LeClair family Collection, Charlotte, North Carolina