“Victorian Radicals” Makes First US Stop in Oklahoma City
Tuesday, September 18, 2018
OKLAHOMA CITY – The Oklahoma City Museum of Art will be the first United States venue to host “Victorian Radicals: From the Pre-Raphaelites to the Arts & Crafts Movement.” The exhibition opens Oct. 13, 2018 and runs through Jan. 6, 2019. Organized by the American Federation of Arts in collaboration with Birmingham Museums Trust, the exhibition’s objects are drawn from the outstanding collection of the city of Birmingham, United Kingdom and will feature 144 works—many of which have never been exhibited outside the UK—to illuminate this dynamic period of British art.
"The city of Birmingham’s Pre-Raphaelite collection is widely regarded as one of the best in the world," said OKCMOA director of curatorial affairs, Dr. Michael Anderson. "We are honored to be the first museum in the country to showcase part of this incredible collection. The works in this exhibition are not only beautiful, with incredible detail and rich, vibrant colors, but they also represent an important deviation from the trends of the time. The artists’ rebellion against the effects of industrialization and machine-made artifacts and their return to valuing the handmade is something I think continues to resonate today.”
“We are pleased to launch the national tour of 'Victorian Radicals' at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art and look forward to connecting audiences across the United States with this important presentation of treasures from the largest Pre-Raphaelite collection in the world,” said Pauline Willis, director & CEO of the American Federation of Arts. “'Victorian Radicals' investigates the prescient concerns among artists of the time, including the relationship between technological transformation and the arts, in an exhibition that is replete with both visual luxuriance and scholarly depth.”
Toby Watley, director of collections at Birmingham Museums Trust, said, “This is Birmingham Museums Trust’s largest ever touring exhibition. It will bring the story of the city’s pioneering artistic figures to America, for the first time in this depth: from the progressive work of the Pre-Raphaelites to the inspiring designs of the Arts and Crafts movement.”
“Victorian Radicals” highlights the second half of the 19th century, when three generations of young, rebellious artists and designers revolutionized the visual arts in Britain by engaging with and challenging the new industrial world around them. Featuring works by Ford Madox Brown, Edward Burne-Jones, William Holman Hunt, John Everett Millais, William Morris, Dante Gabriel Rossetti and Elizabeth Siddall, the exhibition showcases a radical artistic and social vision whose inspiration was in the pre-industrial past.
In addition to paintings and drawings, “Victorian Radicals” includes sculpture, jewelry, pottery, stained glass, glasswork, garments, pamphlets, embroidery and metalwork. The vast array of works included showcases the full spectrum of avant-garde practices during the Victorian period.
OKCMOA has organized an exhibition from its permanent collection, “Masterworks of British Painting” to complement the works on view in “Victorian Radicals.” “Masterworks of British Painting” presents highlights from OKCMOA’s collection of British works, including many artists who studied at the Royal Academy.
A full list of programming and events, including newly scheduled public tours, is available on the Museum’s website, okcmoa.com. Additional programming highlights include a lecture by Dr. Julie Codell, professor of art history at Arizona State University, and Studio Sunday art-making activities on Oct. 14 and Dec. 30.
Following its stop at OKCMOA, “Victorian Radicals” will travel to Florida, Washington, Texas, Connecticut, Nevada and Pennsylvania.
About the Exhibition
“Victorian Radicals: From the Pre-Raphaelites to the Arts and Crafts Movement” is organized by the American Federation of Arts and Birmingham Museums Trust. This exhibition is supported by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. Additional funding provided by Clare McKeon and the Dr. Lee MacCormick Edwards Charitable Foundation.
Victorian Radicals is co-curated by Tim Barringer, Paul Mellon Professor and Chair of the History of Art at Yale University; Martin Ellis, freelance curator, lecturer, and broadcaster who was the Curator of Applied Art at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery for many years; and Victoria Osborne, Curator of Fine Art for Birmingham Museums Trust, specializing in British nineteenth-century works on paper.
About the American Federation of Arts
The American Federation of Arts is the leader in traveling exhibitions internationally. A nonprofit organization founded in 1909, the AFA is dedicated to enriching the public’s experience and understanding of the visual arts through organizing and touring art exhibitions for presentation in museums around the world, publishing exhibition catalogues featuring important scholarly research, and developing educational programs.
About the Birmingham Museums Trust
Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery is operated by Birmingham Museums Trust, an independent charity that manages the city’s museum collection and venues on behalf of Birmingham City Council. It uses the collection of around 1,000,000 objects to provide a wide range of arts, cultural and historical experiences, events and activities that deliver accessible learning, creativity and enjoyment for citizens and visitors to the city.
About the Oklahoma City Museum of Art
Accredited by the American Association of Museums and a member of the Association of Art Museum Directors, the Oklahoma City Museum of Art serves over 125,000 visitors annually from all fifty states and thirty foreign countries and presents exhibitions from prestigious museums throughout the world. The Museum’s permanent collection covers a period of five centuries with strengths in European and American art from the nineteenth through twenty-first centuries, contemporary art and one of the world’s largest public collections of glass sculpture by Dale Chihuly. The Museum boasts the region’s premier repertory cinema, which screens the finest international, independent and classic films. Amenities include the Museum Store, the Roof Terrace and the Museum Cafe, a full-service restaurant, offering lunch, dinner, Sunday brunch, a full bar and catering services. For more information, visit okcmoa.com.