'The Stewart Album'
‘The Stewart Album: Art, Letters, and Souvenirs to an American Patron in Paris’ is an extraordinary album of 19th-century letters, drawings, and photographs amassed by American collector William H. Stewart (1820-1897).
The exhibition celebrates the Meadows Museum’s recent acquisition of a unique album compiled by the renowned American collector during the latter half of the nineteenth century. Kept in private hands until now, this will be the first time that audiences will have the opportunity to view a significant selection of letters, drawings, and photographs, which belong to this unique album that in total holds 370 photographs (254 portraits and 116 photographic reproductions of works by contemporary artists), six independent drawings, and 193 letters written to Stewart (a handful of them to his wife and two of his sons, Robert and Jules) by many of the most illustrious artists, collectors, aristocracy, and dealers from Europe and the United States.
Over half of these letters were written by artists of the “Modern” Spanish School, among them Martín Rico, Mariano Fortuny y Marsal (1838-1874), Eduardo Zamacois y Zabala (1841-1871), and Raimundo de Madrazo y Garreta (1841-1920). Revealing the esteem to which the American expatriate was held by this group of artists, most of the letters include numerous drawings illustrating stories relating to their personal lives and artistic endeavors.
Stewart’s album evidences the major role he played in the lives of these four cosmopolitan Spanish artists, who established successful careers outside Spain and garnered international renown, and who paved the way for future generations of Spanish artists that would do the same in the in the turn of the nineteenth and beginning of the twentieth century. As a whole, the album is a testament to his connoisseurship, taste, and his important place in the international art scene during his time.
Among the letters that will be featured in the exhibition are examples by international artists such as Gustave Clarence Rodolphe Boulanger (1824-1888), Jean-Baptiste Édouard Detaille (1848-1912), Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres (1780-1867), Jean-Louis Ernest Meissonier (1815-1891), Jehan Georges Vibert (1840-1902), Mihály von Munkácsy (1844-1900), Jules Worms (1832-1914), the American Charles James Theriat (1860-1937), and two examples of letters written by the collector’s own son, who was also an artist, Julius Leblanc Stewart (1855-1919).
Visiting hours: Tuesday-Saturday, from 10 am to 5 pm, Thursday until 9:00 pm, and Sunday from 1 to 5 pm. Closed on Mondays.