Middlebury College Museum of Art

News & Events

Recent Bequests on View this Fall

July 20, 2017

A Story of Art: Gifts and Bequests from Charles S. Moffett ’67 and Lucinda Herrick
September 5–December 10, 2017

For immediate release: 7/14/17
For further information contact: Douglas Perkins, at deperkin@middlebury.edu or (802) 443-5235

Middlebury, VT—Charles Moffett, Middlebury Class of 1967, was one of the most highly regarded world authorities on Impressionism. As a curator at such prestigious institutions as New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, and The National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., and as director of the Phillips Collection in D.C., he organized widely celebrated solo exhibitions of the works of Van Gogh, Manet, Monet, and Gauguin. Following his museum appointments he served for sixteen years as Executive Vice President and Vice Chairman of Impressionist, Modern, and contemporary art at Sotheby’s. An inveterate collector of art of all periods and mediums with a particular interest in 19th-century European drawings, he and Lucinda Herrick, his widow, have given and bequeathed some seventy-five works of art to the Middlebury College Museum of Art. Those works, as varied and engaging as Moffett’s broad interests, are the subject of the exhibition A Story of Art, which opens at the Museum on Tuesday, September 5.

Organized by students in a January 2017 course taught by Assistant Professor of History of Art and Architecture Carrie Anderson, the exhibition includes drawings, photographs, paintings, sculpture, and ceramics dating from antiquity to the present day. Drawings by Edouard Vuillard, Antoine-Auguste-Ernest Hébert, and Adolf Hiremy-Hirschl are included, along with photographs by E.J. Bellocq, Lee Friedlander, and Nicholas Nixon. Recent ceramic works by Alyson Schotz and Edmund de Waal are also on view. While the selection reflects Moffett’s discerning and eclectic taste, it also examines broader issues of authorship, artistic identity, materiality, and temporality, drawing distinctions between studies for larger, more ambitious projects and works that are definitively finished.

A section of the exhibition devoted to Moffett’s life highlights his student days at the College, where he served as president of the Cinema Club (and inaugurated a fund to support budding filmmakers) and was joint-chair of both the Student Educational Policy Committee and the Student Life Committee. There is also an impressive selection of many of the exhibition catalogues he produced in the course of his curatorial career.

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Press Images

Adolf Hiremy-Hirschl, Study of a Figure Walking Away
Adolf Hiremy-Hirschl (Hungarian, 1860–1933), Study of a Figure Walking Away, c. 1895, chalk on paper, 20 1/2 x 13 1/2 inches. Collection of Middlebury College Museum of Art. Gift of Charles S. Moffett ’67, 2014.003a.
Antoine Auguste Ernest Hebert, Portrait of Alfred Émilien OHara
Antoine-Auguste-Ernest Hébert (French, 1817–1908), Portrait of Alfred Émilien O’Hara, Comte de Nieuwerkerke, 1872, black chalk heightened with white on paper, 27 7/8 x 23 3/8 inches. Collection of Middlebury College Museum of Art. Gift of Charles S. Moffett ’67, 2014.213.
E J Bellocq, New Orleans
E. J. Bellocq (American, 20th century), New Orleans, c. 1911–1913, gelatin-silver print on gold-toned P.O.P. Collection of Middlebury College Museum of Art. Gift of Charles S. Moffett ’67, 2015.254.

The Middlebury College Museum of Art, located in the Kevin P. Mahaney ’84 Center for the Arts on Rte. 30 on the southern edge of campus, is free and open to the public Tues. through Fri. from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sat. and Sun. from noon to 5 p.m. It is closed Mondays. The museum is physically accessible. Parking is available in the Mahaney Center parking lot. For further information and to confirm dates and times of scheduled events, please call (802) 443–5007 or TTY (802) 443–3155, or visit the museum’s website at museum.middlebury.edu.