A Place in America: Celebrating the Legacy of Ralph and Barbara Voorhees

Sep 20, 2014 - Feb 08, 2015
Eisenberg Gallery

Showing America’s landscape “from sea to shining sea” in prints and drawings made between 1880 and 1940, this exhibition offers a tantalizing panorama of urban and rural scenes, in addition to images of industry contrasting with wilderness views. The earliest works are by Mary Nimmo Moran and J. Alden Weir, who revived interest in landscape etching in late nineteenth-century America. Louis Comfort Tiffany’s exquisite drawing of a garden pool shaded by poplars showcases his artistic virtuosity. Innovative color woodcuts by Arthur Wesley Dow and Blanche Lazzell are featured highlights, along with key examples of twentieth-century modernism by Stuart Davis, Walt Kuhn, John Marin, Abraham Walkowitz, Marguerite Zorach, and William Zorach. From Pedro de Lemos’s view of a California shipyard to Louis Lozowick’s lithograph of the Manhattan skyline seen from the Brooklyn Bridge, this selection of prints and drawings presents a captivating composite picture of places and experiences of America.  

The thirty-eight remarkable American prints and drawings on view, purchased with the Ralph and Barbara Voorhees American Art Fund, serve as a tribute to its late benefactors, who were generous and supportive friends to the Zimmerli and Rutgers University. In 1982, Ralph Voorhees and his brother Alan made a major contribution to the Rutgers University Art Gallery, which was then renamed the Jane Voorhees Zimmerli Art Museum in honor of their mother. Between 1978 and 2005, Ralph and Barbara Voorhees regularly donated funds for art purchases, enabling the museum to acquire almost 500 American, European, and Russian art works over the years. Most of these acquisitions were American prints and drawings dating between 1870 and 1950. With these important gifts, Mr. and Mrs. Voorhees (who died in 2013 and 2005, respectively) immeasurably enriched the Zimmerli and its collection, and they will always have a cherished place in Rutgers history.  

Organized by Marilyn Symmes, Director of the Zimmerli’s Morse Research Center for Graphic Arts and Curator of Prints and Drawings, with Sara Green, International Fine Prints Dealers Association Foundation Intern, and Kirsten Marples, a Rutgers University Art History Graduate Student Intern (M.A. 2014).

Supported by New Brunswick Development Corporation and Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital 

John Marin (American, 1870-1953)
Brooklyn Bridge, No. 6 (Swaying), 1913
10 11/16 × 8 11/16 in. (27.2 × 22 cm)
Collection Zimmerli Art Museum at Rutgers
Ralph and Barbara Voorhees American Art Fund 80.082.001
© 2014 Estate of John Marin / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Photo Peter Jacobs