On May 13, a new exhibit titled Gifts from the Collection of Peggy and David Starrwill open at the Michele and Donald D’Amour Museum of Fine Arts. Long-time supporters of the Springfield Museums and active leaders in the arts community, the Starrs recently donated a dozen exceptional objects from their personal collection to the D’Amour Museum. A selection of the works will be placed on display in the gallery named for the couple—the Starr Gallery of Watercolors— through August 17, 2014.
The exhibit reflects the Starrs’ broad interest in history and art, their passion for social justice and their life-long support of working artists. Prints by Francisco Goya (Spanish, 1746-1828), Honoré Daumier (French, 1808-1879) and William Gropper (American, 1897-1977) display powerful statements about corrupt authority and comment on societal injustice.
Four engravings by Barry Moser (American, born 1940), one of the world’s greatest book illustrators, showcase his mastery of wood engraving and his ability to capture the very essence of a person or place. This same ability is also present in two etchings by James McNeil Whistler (American, 1834-1903), including a dramatic portrait of the sculptor, M. Drouet, and another of Billingsgate, an area on the Thames River southeast of London.
Other notable artists displayed in the show include Marie Laurencin (French, 1883-1956), John Wenger (American, 1887-1976) and Saul Raskin (Russian-American, 1878-1966).
“These donations represent a wonderful gift to the Museums and to the citizens of Springfield, and we’re honored that the Starrs have chosen to continue their long history of generosity,” commented Holly Smith-Bové, President of the Springfield Museums. Heather Haskell, Director of Art Museums, added that “the works are an outstanding addition to the collection of the D’Amour Museum of Fine Arts and provide many exciting exhibition and educational opportunities. We look forward to sharing these important prints with our visitors.”