Entering a world of brilliant color, passion and narrative, viewers will be drawn into compelling depictions of love and pathos, from Dante’s tragic observance of lovers Paolo and Francesca in Purgatory, to the complex romantic escapades of Shakespeare’s As You Like It. The exhibition brings visitors on a journey that opens their eyes to masterpieces of art from the Victorian Era, containing 40 Victorian-era works from the personal collection of renowned art collector John H. Schaeffer.
The Victorian Era (1837-1901) is known for its prosperity, rich culture and thriving art world. Artists of the time, free to paint any subject matter, often found their inspiration in Biblical scenes and literary history. Vibrant colors and abundant details add an aura of the sublime to the paintings, and viewers find their scale and quality to be awe-inspiring.
The exhibit includes iconic works and rare paintings from the era. Schaeffer is a passionate collector, and each piece is selected with care. “His collection is, without a doubt, built upon the idea of coupling quality and monumentality,” said Curator Dr. Vern Swanson.
Schaeffer’s devotion to art comes from the spiritual connection he feels to it. “John Schaeffer sees a spiritual and visionary nature to works he collects,” said Jessica Weiss, assistant curator.
Throughout his life, Schaeffer has searched for meaning, and has found it in the beauty and narrative of Victorian art. The paintings and sculptures featured in the exhibit represent Schaeffer’s search. He hopes that as visitors walk through the exhibit they will do more than pass through rooms in a museum, they will begin a search for beauty and meaning of their own.
The Springville Museum of Art invites the public to follow Schaeffer on his journey. The exhibit will will be displayed through Feb. 28, 2010. The public is welcome to visit Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Wednesday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.; and Sunday, 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. The Museum is located at 126 E. 400 South in Springville. Admission is free. For more information please call 801-489-2727 or visit www.smofa.org.