Avid collectors since their college days, Frederick and Lucy S. Herman spent over fifty years building an impressive collection of more than 250 works on paper, a majority of which were generously donated to the Museum in 2006 and 2007 for the instruction of the University's students. Traces of the Hand displays a selection of drawings from this collection and celebrates the Hermans' achievement as discriminating collectors, highlighting areas in which the collection excels and which clearly correspond to their tastes and interests. These include social satire, portraiture, German Romanticism, and the depiction of the natural world through landscape and marine imagery.
Although the drawings in this show range in date from about 1530 to 1945 and represent a variety of artistic periods, the exhibition reveals one characteristic that unites them: their superior quality and visual interest. This exhibition also permits the publication of the results of student research on these drawings, carried out in seminars on the history and connoisseurship of drawings and prints taught by curator Lawrence O. Goedde. This research by both graduate and undergraduate students has resulted in new attributions and new identifications of subjects, and it has led students to a deeper appreciation of the highly varied purposes of drawings, as well as enhanced their understanding of the differing functions of specific drawings within an individual artist's creative process.
The Fralin Museum of Art's programming is made possible by the generous support of The Joseph and Robert Cornell Memorial Foundation.
The exhibition is made possible through the generous support of The Fralin Museum of Art Volunteer Board, the Arts Enhancement Fund sponsored by the Vice Provost for the Arts: fostering access + innovation, the Denison and Louise Hatch Americana Preservation Fund, Albemarle Magazine, and Ivy Publications LLC's Charlottesville Welcome Book.