A collection of 47 original prints of engravings by the German artist Albrecht Dürer (1471-1528) will be displayed at the Rebecca Randall Bryan Art Gallery at Coastal Carolina University from Oct. 8 to Nov. 23. The exhibit, the first display of Renaissance art in the gallery’s 11-year history, is free and open to the public.Titled “Discovering the Dürer Cipher: Hidden Secrets in Plain Sight,” the exhibit features prints from the private collection of Elizabeth Maxwell-Garner. As part of the opening reception of the exhibit, Maxwell-Garner will give a lecture exploring her theories regarding secret messages she believes Dürer worked into the engravings. Her lecture is scheduled for Thursday, Oct. 11, at 3 p.m. in room 116 in the Wall College of Business building on campus.
Dürer is a towering figure in the history of Renaissance intellectual life. Based in Nuremberg, he was a painter, printmaker, engraver, mathematician and theorist. A contemporary of Leonardo da Vinci, Dürer produced a monumental body of work including paintings, altarpieces, woodcuts and copper engravings. His work is known for its brilliant detail and its intellectual and psychological depth.
“Having so many works in South Carolina by one of the masters of the Renaissance may never happen again in my lifetime,” says Jim Arendt, director of the Bryan Art Gallery. “This exhibit brings the audience into contact with one of the greatest artists of all time and asks us to reevaluate all of our expectations about him.”
The prints in the exhibit were produced during Dürer’s lifetime and include engravings from his famous “Apocalypse” series, “Melencolia I,” “Man of Sorrows” and “St. Jerome in His Study.”
“Prints were the Internet of their day,” says Arendt. “They allowed common people who couldn’t afford paintings to possess great works of art. Today we live in a sea of images, and it’s difficult to realize how precious these prints were 500 years ago. They belong to everyone.”
Arendt received a grant from The Humanities CouncilSC to support the exhibit. The exhibit will also be the only South Carolina event featured in the National Endowment for the Humanities’ national magazine for November/December.
The Rebecca Randall Bryan Art Gallery is located in room 128 of the Thomas W. and Robin W. Edwards College of Humanities and Fine Arts at CCU.
DISCOVERING THE DÜRER CODE EXHIBITION OPENS OCT. 8, 2012 IN