Building Blocks: Architectural Prints in the Syracuse University Art Collection

September 8, 2011 – May 13, 2012

SUArt Galleries

“We love what we understand; we desire what we love; we pursue the enjoyment of those things which we desire; and arrive at last to the possession of what we have pursued…”

from De Arte Graphica, c1695 by Charles Alphonse Dufresnoy

Art Collectors could readily agree with Dufresnoy’s sentiment if told he was commenting about the passions and pursuits of finding and acquiring important works of art.  This exhibition, Building Blocks, is drawn from a collection that embodies those very qualities to which Dufresnoy was referring. Assembled by Cloud Wampler over more than 35 years, the prints on view were acquired by the former President and Chairman of Carrier Corporation because of their great beauty and character.

Wampler was also an inspiration to Hamilton Armstrong, whose collection is on view in the main gallery, because they shared similar interests in printmaking, especially architectural prints.  Having attended a lecture by Wampler after his collection came to the University, Armstrong was enthused by the passion and knowledge of the older collector.  Over the next 40 years Armstrong himself amassed a group of more than 250 prints of which many were by the same artists included in the Wampler Collection.

Building Blocks displays a number of works that, demonstrate the importance of the 19th century French artist, Charles Meryon, to the development of the ‘Etching Revival’ in Europe and America.  Groups of etchings are organized around his designs for landscapes, city scenes, and architectural details, and can be compared with similar works by Whistler, John Taylor Arms, and Samuel Chamberlain.

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