Edward A. and Inge Maser Gallery
The Smart Museum's European collection ranges from antiquity to the nineteenth century and includes painting, sculpture, works on paper, and decorative arts. Special strengths include Renaissance and Baroque works, as well as works on paper from the earliest days of the print medium through the beginning of the industrial age.
The works on view explore key themes, movements, and artistic approaches in traditional European art. Works are divided into thematic clusters that mix paintings with sculptures, prints, and the decorative arts. Within a broad swath of history and geography, the groupings open deeper lines of inquiry into the devotional art of the Counter-Reformation, the role of war and nationalism in the visual arts, the durability of classical aesthetic ideals and mythology, and the real and allegorical representation of nature.
The gallery also features an ongoing display that pairs Francisco de Goya's Disasters of War with a plate from Jacques Callot's Large Miseries of War.
In keeping with the Smart Museum's commitment to the academic mission of the University, a portion of the gallery is made available, on request, to serve the curricular needs of faculty from any department.
A small area of the gallery is dedicated to works selected as part of Nineteenth-Century Pasts. This art history course offered at the University of Chicago explores the various ways that nineteenth-century French artists engaged with the historical past. Excerpts from students' final papers will progressively be added to the object labels, reflecting the interpretations and insights gleaned through the students' research.
With a focus on the nineteenth century, this quarter's instructor selected examples in a variety of media: paintings, engravings, sculptures, prints, and etchings. The presentation includes works by Louis Dupré, Jules Dalou, Henri-Michel-Antoine Chapu, and Jean-Léon Gérôme.