Art Gallery exhibit features WPA & Brockhurst Prints

New OU Art Gallery exhibit features WPA & Brockhurst Prints
Gerald Brockhurst, Dorette, 1932, Etching on wove paper. Collection of Carl F. Barnes, Jr. and Anna M. Barnes/Elizabeth Olds, Miner Joe, c. 1937, Lithograph printed in black on wove paper. Detroit Institute of Arts: Gift of the Works Progress Administration, Federal Art Project.

Beginning Friday, September 9 and running through Sunday, October 9, the Oakland University Art Gallery will be hosting a special exhibit featuring Works Progress Administration (WPA) Prints from the collection of the Detroit Institute of Arts & the prints of Gerald Brockhurst from the collection of Carl F. Barnes, Jr. and Anna M. Barnes, which is part of the Oakland University Art Collection.

This exhibition features 65 prints from the 1920s to the 1940s, which was a prolific era for printmaking. The WPA, which was part of Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s New Deal in response to the Great Depression, put millions of unemployed people to work in the execution of public works. In this case, artists were commissioned to make prints. These works depict poignant moments when the country pulled together in a time of adversity and strife.

In stark contrast, Gerald Brockhurst was a highly successful English society portrait painter whose finest work was completed during the twenties and thirties. He is now best remembered for his extraordinarily detailed etchings. Wealthy collectors, even during the depression, appreciated his prints for their draftsmanship, extreme accuracy, and evocative spirit. By the 1950s, with the dawning epoch of abstract expressionism, his prints faded from view, but today, once again, his work is represented in museum collections.

The Oakland University Art Gallery is open Tuesdays-Sundays from noon to 5 p.m. and is located on the university's main campus at 208 Wilson Hall, across the hall from Meadow Brook Theatre. Free parking is available in lot P-1 and other lots on campus.


Learn more about the Oakland University Art Gallery.