OLD LYME — The Lyme Academy of Fine Arts presents the public opening on Sunday, Nov. 19, of An Artist’s Eye: The Lukas Charles Collection. The exhibition will be on view through Feb. 18, 2024.
The collection features rarely-seen portraits by some of the 19th and early 20th centuries’ most accomplished European, American, and British portrait artists, including Ilya Repin (1844-1930), William Merritt Chase (1849-1916), and Solomon J. Solomon (1860-1927). It was assembled by Dr. Lukas Charles, an artist and New York radiologist.
The 28 paintings selected from Dr. Charles’ extraordinary collection represent some of the finest examples of realistic portraiture produced during this period. “My collection has grown from my love of fine painting and my observations of the differing and deep connections between these artists and their subjects,” reflects Dr. Charles.
Curators and Co-Artistic Directors of the Lyme Academy, Jordan Sokol and Amaya Gurpide, see in this collection an opportunity for their students, fellow artists, and the art-loving public to witness first-hand both the technical excellence and expressive diversity of previous academic masters.
“The artists represented in this exhibition were trained in academies,” comments Gurpide.
She continues, “This institutionalized practice of art education dates back to the Renaissance and became popular again in the 18th and 19th centuries. Students learn through a progression of foundational, skills-based exercises. Yet, the artists each have their own style and approach their subjects differently, with resemblance becoming secondary to the evocation of character, mood, and self-reflection.”
This is, in fact, what ties the collection so closely to the Lyme Academy, whose own mission is to train the newest generation of figurative artists in this age-old tradition, while also encouraging them to discover their own expressive voice.
The exhibition at the Academy’s Chauncey-Stillman Gallery will be accompanied by a variety of public programming.
The exhibition is open to the public free of charge Wednesday through Friday, from 12 to 4 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Some holiday closings will be scheduled, which will be listed on the Academy’s website.
The mission of the Lyme Academy of Fine Arts is to teach the foundational skills of drawing, painting, and sculpture in the figurative tradition. Its commitment to training students in these skills and its engagement with contemporary discourse will empower a new generation of artists.
Through its programs and related ventures, including the opening of de Gerenday’s Fine Art Materials and Curiosities on its historic campus, the Academy will enrich the cultural life of the community.
Visit this link for more information about Lyme Academy.