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Colors of Greece: The Art and Archaeology of Georg von Peschke

Rare Book Room, Canaday Library

Exhibition hours: Monday through Saturday, noon to 4:30 pm

March 19, 2012 – May 27, 2012

 

Exhibition website for "Colors of Greece"

Read the review in the Philadelphia Inquirer

 

Georg von Peschke, Carnival, 1938Vandyk Studio, Georg von Peschke (1920s)

"Colors of Greece: The Art and Archaeology of Georg von Peschke" is the first retrospective of the work of the painter, printmaker, and illustrator Georg von Peschke (19001959). Born into an aristocratic family in the Austro-Hungarian Empire (now Croatia), Peschke moved to Greece in the 1920s. "Colors of Greece" will display oil paintings, watercolors, prints, and drawings of Peschke's adopted country, and particularly the island of Skyros, his wife's home. This exhibit is a first and important step in resurrecting this significant Greek artist. Bryn Mawr is a particularly apt location for this show (which opened at Franklin & Marshall College in January) because of Peschke's close connections with Bryn Mawr archaeologists. The exhibit is curated by Kostis Kourelis, Assistant Professor of Art and Art History at Franklin & Marshall College.

Largely self-trained, Peschke was influenced by Post-Impressionist art, and was a member of the League of Greek Artists, whose explorations in abstract form and Greek subjects led to the creation of a distinctively Greek Modernist style. He exhibited widely and to considerable acclaim in Greece in the 1920s and 1930s, and in 1935 he curated an important exhibit of contemporary Greek painters in Vienna (including himself), thus helping to create an international identity for these Greek artists. The range of his painting is well-represented in "Colors of Greece." Skyros and Santorini were favorite subjects, both for their architecture and the quintessentially Greek landscapes and light. Peschke frequently depicted his family, friends, and residents of Skyros in sketches and oil portraits, many of which appear in this exhibit. His paintings of interiors, daily life, and festivals show his interest in the art and ethnography of Skyros. Paintings from the collections of his Peschke's daughters Marianna Monaco and Nausika Martin form the nucleus of the exhibit.

Peschke also found employment in Greece as an illustrator and architect at American excavations at Olynthus, Corinth, and Isthmia, and several publications from these excavations feature his illustrations. The archaeologists with whom Peschke worked were also friends and patrons. Rhys Carpenter, professor of Classical Archaeology at Bryn Mawr, hired him at Corinth and collected his paintings. Dorothy Burr Thompson (Bryn Mawr AB '19, PhD '26) visited Skyros with Georg von Peschke and his wife in 1931, where she photographed the main town in Skyros and some of Peschke's favorite models. Some of these photographs and a painting she owned are featured in this exhibit, as are paintings purchased in Greece by Richard and Agnes Stillwell (Bryn Mawr AB '27).

Kostis Kourelis will give a lecture, "Georg von Peschke: The Archaeology of Greek Life," at 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, March 21, in Carpenter Library B21, followed by the opening of the exhibit in Canaday Library.

Artemis Leontis, Associate Professor of Modern Greek at the University of Michigan will give a lecture on another expatriate artist, Eva Palmer Sikelianos (Bryn Mawr '1900)  whose artistic career, like Peschke's, flourished in Greece. "Greek Dress and the Embodied Archaeology of Eva Palmer Sikelianos" will be presented at 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 5, in Carpenter Library B21.

The exhibit and both lectures are free and open to the public. For further information, please contact the Special Collections Department at 610-526-6576, SpecColl@brynmawr.edu. For directions to the College and information about parking, please visit brynmawr.edu/campus/visiting.shtml.

Read about this and other exhibitions at Bryn Mawr College.

Works of art from the exhibition:

 

Yero Mourtzis, Skyros

1945

Oil on canvas, 37 x 30 inches

Marianna

1955

Oil on canvas, 39 x 35 inches

Sunflowers

1945

Oil on canvas, 31 x 25 inches

Carnival, Skyros

1938

Oil on canvas, 41 x 33 inches

Girl with Pitcher

1943

Oil on canvas, 34 x 25 inches

Grandmother (Maria Kalimeri)

1943

Oil on canvas, 17.5 x 15 inches

Skyros

Date Unknown

Oil on canvas, 27 x 35 inches

Bell Tower

1927

Watercolor with pencil and ink on paper, 20 x 17 inches

Funeral, Skyros

1932

Oil on canvas, 30 x 26 inches

Woman with Yellow Headscarf

1930

Oil on canvas, 18 x 13 inches

Santorini

1930s?

Oil on canvas, 26 x 38 inches

Street on Skyros

1932

Oil on canvas, 26 x 19 inches

Santorini

1934

Watercolor on paper, 18 x 18 inches

Chora, Skyros

1945

Watercolor on paper, 21 x 27.5 inches

Herbert Vandyk (British, 1879–1943) or Vandyk Studio

Georg von Peschke, London

1920s

Photograph, 11.5 x 8.5 inches