Conversations in Drawing: Seven Centuries of Art from the Gray Collection at The Morgan Library & Museum, February 19 – June 6, 2021

“The Morgan Library & Museum proudly presents an exhibition celebrating the remarkable collection of drawings assembled by one of America’s foremost art dealers, Richard Gray, and his wife, the art historian Mary L. Gray. Encompassing works made in Europe and the United States between the fifteenth and the twenty-first century, the Gray Collection represents a stimulating survey of key aspects in the long and distinguished history of drawing. Conversations in Drawing: Seven Centuries of Art from the Gray Collection includes many outstanding works from the collection, which was amassed over the course of nearly fifty years. 

 While there are many examples of sheets by established artists— Rubens, Boucher, Degas, Van Gogh, Seurat, Matisse, Picasso, and Hockney, among others—the Grays were more interested in skill than celebrity, and many of the exceptional drawings in their collection bear the names of lesser-known draftsmen. In all eras, keenly aware of their place in the history of art, many of the artists consistently engaged in lively conversations with the works of their contemporaries and forebears. Juxtaposing drawings from distinct periods and places, Conversations in Drawing also explores these visual connections, highlighting the the continuities and innovations that have emerged over the course of the medium’s evolution.” — The Morgan Library & Museum

François Boucher (1703-1770). Study of a draped woman leaning on a pedestal, 1759-61. Black chalk, with stumping, and white chalk, on buff paper. The Art Institute of Chicago, gift of Richard and Mary L. Gray; 2019.835. Photography by Art Institute of Chicago Imaging Department.
Annibale Carracci (1560-1609). Study of Hercules resting, with separate studies of his head and foot, 1595-97. Black chalk, heightened with white chalk, on blue paper, incised The Art Institute of Chicago, gift of Richard and Mary L. Gray; 2019.838. Photography by Jamie Stukenberg, Professional Graphics Inc.
Paul Cézanne (1839-1906). Bather with Outstretched Arms, 1874-1877. Graphite on pieced paper. The Art Institute of Chicago, gift of Richard and Mary L. Gray; 2019.840. Photography by Jamie Stukenberg, Professional Graphics Inc.
Honoré Daumier (1808-1879). Study of Two Men (Spectators), 1863-65 Pen and black ink, brush and wash, and graphite, over black chalk. Richard and Mary L. Gray, promised gift to the Morgan Library & Museum. Photography by Jamie Stukenberg, Professional Graphics Inc.
Jacques Louis David (1748-1825). Nude soldiers gesticulating with their weapons, 1796-97. Black chalk, and pen and ink, with touches of white chalk. The Art Institute of Chicago, gift of Richard and Mary L. Gray; 2019.841. Photography by Art Institute of Chicago Imaging Department.
Edgar Degas (1834-1917). Study of Dancers, 1895-1900. Charcoal and pastel on pale-pink paper (discolored to tan). Gray Family Collection. Photography by Jamie Stukenberg, Professional Graphics Inc.
Giovanni Domenico Tiepolo (1727-1804). Puchinello collapses on the road, ca. 1791 Pen and brown ink, and brush and brown washes, over traces of charcoal. The Art Institute of Chicago, gift of Richard and Mary L. Gray; 2019.869. Photography by Art Institute of Chicago Imaging Department.
Giovanni Francesco Barbieri, called Guercino (1591-1666). The triumphant Hercules with the vanquished Hydra, ca. 1618. Pen and brown ink, and brush and brown wash, on buff paper. The Art Institute of Chicago, gift of Richard and Mary L. Gray; 2019.879. Photography by Art Institute of Chicago Imaging Department.
Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres (1780-1867). Comtesse Charles d’Agoult (Born Marie de Flavigny) and Her Daughter Claire d’Agoult, 1849. Graphite, heightened with white opaque watercolor, with touches of yellow watercolor. The Art Institute of Chicago, gift of Richard and Mary L. Gray; 2019.852. Photography by Art Institute of Chicago Imaging Department.
Peter Paul Rubens (1577-1640). Nude youth in the pose of the Spinario, Ca. 1610-1616. Black chalk with white chalk. The Art Institute of Chicago, gift of Richard and Mary L. Gray; 2019.863. Photography by Jamie Stukenberg, Professional Graphics Inc.
Georges Seurat (1859-1891). Landscape, ca. 1881. Black Conté crayon. The Art Institute of Chicago, gift of Richard and Mary L. Gray; 2019.866. Photography by Jamie Stukenberg, Professional Graphics Inc.
Vincent van Gogh (1853-1890). Avenue of Pollard Birches and Poplars , 1884 Reed pen and iron-gall ink. Richard and Mary L. Gray, promised gift to the Art Institute of Chicago. Photography by Jamie Stukenberg, Professional Graphics Inc.
Giovanni Battista Naldini (1535-1591). Study of a Seated Youth, ca. 1575. Black chalk, with touches of white chalk, squared in red chalk. Richard and Mary L. Gray, promised gift to the Morgan Library & Museum. Photography by Art Institute of Chicago Imaging Department.
Pablo Picasso (1881–1973) Two Dancers, 1925 © 2021 Estate of Pablo Picasso / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York Photo by Jamie Stukenberg, Professional Graphics Inc.

Conversations in Drawing: Seven Centuries of Art from the Gray Collection was organized by The Art Institute of Chicago in cooperation with the Morgan Library & Museum.

Images courtesy The Morgan Library & Museum.