Piranesi, Canaletto, Tiepolo
Etchings from the Courtauld Collection

  11 February - 3 May 1999
The Courtauld Gallery acknowledges the generosity of an anonymous patron in supporting this exhibition.

For the first time, the Courtauld is showing its collections of Piranesi’s monumental Prison series Le Carceri, of Canaletto’s etchings of Venice and Tiepolo’s Vari Capricci, etchings on a fantasy theme.

The Value of Art
24 June - 30 August 1999
Sponsored by Schroder Investment Management Limited

Degas drawing detail Degas ballerina

Works in 'The Value of Art’ exhibition.


The Courtauld’s summer exhibition suggests that public galleries cannot avoid being implicated in the financial workings of the art trade, and that this is an issue which they should explore, rather than ignore. One of the aims of the exhibition is to use objects from the Courtauld’s collections as case studies through which to examine some of the issues which affect the financial valuation of works of art. Museums and galleries in the public sector are traditionally reluctant to discuss the financial value of the works of art in their care. Curators and visitors alike often share the belief that these institutions provide a kind of haven for important works of art, permanently removing them from circulation in the market place and thus preserving the human or spiritual values which they embody from the taint of financial values.

A further, equally important, aim is to investigate not only the objects and issues but also visitors’ responses to them, by presenting the exhibits as unlabelled pairs, each of which is accompanied by the question: Which is more valuable?. To be faced, in a public gallery, by works of art which are not only unlabelled, but which may or may not be valuable masterpieces, will for most visitors be an unprecedented experience. It will encourage the examination not only of the exhibits but also of the visitor’s own attitudes towards them, and in particular how these feelings differ before and after they are given detailed information about the objects and their relative financial values. The Courtauld Gallery is an excellent place to examine not only the processes of discrimination through which collectors, curators, historians, dealers and critics value works of art, but also the relationship between this bald financial value and the other kinds of value which many prefer to think of as more important and enduring, but which can never be entirely separated from the world of the market place.

Sarah Hyde - Curator of Prints and Drawings

Modernist Art from the Emery Collection
7 July - 30 August 1999

This exhibition provides a marvellous opportunity to enjoy the superb selection of paintings, drawings and sculptures generously lent to the Gallery by Roger Emery. Included are paintings by Raoul Dufy, André Derain, Braque and Kandinsky, drawings by Picasso, Miró and Matisse, and sculptures by Jean Arp and Henri Laurens. The exhibition will go on to the Graves Art Gallery in Sheffield.

Art Made Modern Roger Fry’s Vision of Art
15 October 1999 - 23 January 2000
This exhibition has been generously supported by The Gabrielle Jungels-Winkler Foundation on the occasion of the establishment of a Chair in Contemporary European Studies at Scripps College, California, USA.
Also supported by The Henry Moore Foundation.

Roger Fry (1866-1934) was a painter, critic and impresario who dramatically shaped this country’s view of contemporary painting and sculpture. He is remembered now almost exclusively as a writer on art. His plain man’s prose left an indelible impression on an entire transatlantic generation (or two), but the insights made so widely accessible by his writing depended, ultimately, on his first-hand experience as a painter. 'Art Made Modern: Roger Fry’s Vision of Art’, which opens at the Courtauld Gallery on October 15th, will show a selection of his paintings, focusing above all on how the theories Fry developed through his experience as viewer and practitioner changed ways of seeing art in Britain and America.

Roger Fry. Copy after self-portrait by Cézanne, 1927
Roger Fry. Copy after self-portrait by Cézanne, 1927.


With loans from major institutions internationally, and rarely seen works from Fry’s collection and that of Samuel Courtauld, the exhibition presents a spectacular reconstruction of Fry’s imaginative and intellectual landscape. Just as Fry did in his writing, it cuts across periods and cultures, as telling in what it suggests about our contemporary understanding of modernity and the "postmodern" as it is in what it reveals about Fry’s attitudes. It offers a chance to share Fry’s expansive vision through juxtapositions of "Old Master" paintings from the Italian Trecento and Quattrocento, Rembrandt’s Ecce Homo, with major works by European modernists, by Seurat and Van Gogh, Cézanne (his Houses in Provence on loan from the National Gallery, Washington) and Picasso (including the 1913 Head of a Man from the Richard Zeisler collection, New York). Applied and fine arts will be shown side by side, and a dazzling selection of sculpture, from two ancient Chinese terracotta dancers, to be lent by King’s College, Cambridge, and a Cameroon 'reliquary’ figure lent by the Musée de l’Homme in Paris, to the finest pieces by Maillol and Matisse, including Maillol’s Cycliste, on loan from the Musée d’Orsay.

What is so impressive now about Fry’s achievement is the sheer scope of its ambition. His two "Post-Impressionist" exhibitions of 1910 and 1912 were intended to change once and for all the history of art in England. His theoretical writing sought the "truth about all art"; and, as this Autumn’s exhibition will show, "art" for Fry was far more than simply European.

Professor Chris Green & Cathy Putz