Welcome to The Fralin's "Summer of Love." In celebration of this most enduring of emotions, we present a selection of works from the collection that encompass its myriad interpretations by artists throughout the centuries. From allegorical and mythological narratives to contemporary commentaries on same-sex partnerships, this exhibition aims to elicit emotion, yes, but also meditation on the implications of adoration in all its forms. Whether they be cardinal sins or hedonistic pleasures such as jealousy and lust, or altruistic and selfless acts of devotion and commitment, love inspires different reactions in different circumstances and presents diverse expectations as it is understood not only throughout time, but also across cultures and continents.
Love is a universal emotion—one which is difficult to grasp and express—which is why there are many words in the ancient Greek language for "love." Love can be erotic (eros), playful (ludus), frenzied (mania), or longstanding/enduring (pragma). Obsession with trying to understand our own sentiments is a reason why love is so frequently represented in art. By connecting with lovers depicted in the works on display, we develop an appreciation, or love for the work. When we develop such a connection, we ourselves become lovers, lovers of art... "Art Lovers."
The Fralin Museum of Art's programming is generously supported by The Joseph and Robert Cornell Memorial Foundation.
This exhibition was made possible by a generous gift from Arts$. We also wish to thank our in-kind donors: WTJU 91.1 FM and Ivy Publications LLC's Charlottesville Welcome Book.