The Mitchell Gallery

The Elizabeth Myers Mitchell Gallery

The Fantastic World of Ronald Markman: A Mini-Retrospective

Mitchell Gallery Art Museum Fundraiser

Ron Markman (American, b. 1931), Fundraiser for the Art Museum, Mixed media, Photography courtesy of Robert Madden.

           MARCH 10 – APRIL 23, 2017


Inspired by 1930s cartoons and popular culture, Ronald Markman explores intellectual and artistic journeys through literature, historic events, personal observations, and the absurdities of life in this colorful collection of drawings, paintings, and sculptures. This exhibition combines Markman’s dedicated academic training with George Grosz and Josef Albers with humor and the limitless possibilities of a nonsensical, fantastical world.


“Madonna and Child” by Ruth Starr Rose

ruth starr rose

Ruth Starr Rose (American, – ), Madonna and Child. Lithograph, the estate of Ruth Starr Rose.

This lithograph by Ruth Starr Rose depicts Elizabeth Money, who worked for the Rose family watching over her sleeping daughter. The child sleeps in a cradle allegedly lent by Ruth Starr Rose to Moaney while she did housework for the family. An 18th century heirloom piece, it is still in the Rose family today. This scene is one of many realistic and dignified depictions of African-American life on Maryland’s Eastern Shore captured by Rose.

Elizabeth Moaney, the mother, is still alert, as if the baby has only just drifted of to sleep. Her arm and foot are poised to rock the magnificent cradle that, like a throne, frames the child. The ornate cradle contrasts with the dingier objects that the woman employs in her daily work: the broom and pail in the lefthand corner, and the overturned fruit basket that the mother sits on. She is faintly smiling as she gazes intently at her child; her expression is a source of warmth in itself. In addition, Ruth Starr Rose somehow manages to draw out a luminous quality from the black and white tones of the lithograph.

The richness of the light and dark values lend a quality to the scene that is hard to articulate: it is not quite realistic, but stylized to the point of looking like an illustration for a poster. And yet this depiction does not exploit or degrade the subject matter in any way, as a political poster might. In fact, by titling it Madonna and Child, Rose elevates the scene to an extraordinary height. The mother and child depicted here are ordinary, lifelike, but at the same time suggestive of the love that the Virgin Mary had for the infant Jesus.

Along with the title, the almost too-large proportions–the head and torso of the mother compared to her arms and legs, the oversized child, and the enormous headboard of the cradle itself–recall Medieval paintings and icons of the Virgin Mary and Jesus, where realistic perspective and proportions are ignored, and human figures exist apart from any concrete setting in space and time. Figures in Medieval paintings were not meant to be realistic representations of living people, but emblematic depictions of figures who were part of a higher, divine reality. Here, in Ruth Starr Rose’s lovely work, the exaggerated proportions are balanced by the soft luminosity of the tones, and the mother’s gentle and adoring gaze.

Ruth Starr Rose: Revelations of African American Life in Maryland and the World

Ruth Starr Rose, Anna May Moaney,1930, oil on Masonite

Ruth Starr Rose, Anna May Moaney, 1930, oil on Masonite.

January 11 – February 26

Opening Reception: January 15  from 3 to 5 p.m.

This first comprehensive exhibition of paintings and lithographs by Ruth Starr Rose (1887-1965) offers a rare glimpse into the lives and spiritual world of rural African American life at the turn of the century on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. An Art Students League artist, Rose portrays crab pickers, sailmakers, and soldiers, as well as gospel song illustrations, with a dignity and compassion that expresses her deep love for the residents of the Talbot County towns of Copperville and Unionville.

This exhibition is generously supported by the Helena Foundation.

“Ruth Starr Rose” was developed and organized for the Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History & Culture by Guest Curator Barbara Paca, PhD; Exhibition Tour Management by Landau Traveling Exhibitions, Los Angeles, CA.

First Folio! The Book that Gave Us Shakespeare


On tour from the Folger Shakespeare Library

November 1 – December 4, 2016

St. John’s College, in partnership with the Annapolis Shakespeare Company for programming support and with the Maryland Humanities for marketing support, has been named the institutional host for Maryland. As part of the “First Folio! The Book that Gave Us Shakespeare” national tour, the First Folio exhibition will be on view to the public from November 1 to December 4 at the Mitchell Gallery on the Annapolis campus.

Gerveux’s Study of a Wounded Soldier

Henri Gervex, Study for Le Blessé de Guerre

Henri Gerveux (French, 1852-1929). Study for Le Blessé de Guerre (The wounded soldier). Charcoal, red and white chalk on blue paper.

In this study by the academically-trained artist Gerveux, a young man lies awake in bed. Moonlight from a window to the left cuts through the bluish darkness and falls on him. Instead of just delineating the form of the man in a dark outline all around, Gerveux touches his left side where the light falls with white chalk. Only under his right shoulder are there deliberate shadows made in black charcoal. These darker lines suggest the substantiality of the young man’s body, the weight of it lying on the mattress. But the mass of his body is also shown more indirectly by the rumpled sheet that has fallen around his waist and the folds that lie in the foreground, also touched by the moonlight.

Again, Gerveux works with the effects of moonlight to suggest the atmosphere of the scene and the inner state of the wounded soldier. You can just see, by the contrast of his dark eyelashes against the moonlit parts of his face, that the man’s eyes are open. He’s not completely at rest; instead of sinking all the way into the bed, he seems contained within himself, and aware of his position on the pillow (in the way that someone injured needs to hold themselves in a certain position in bed to be comfortable). Even though he’s not in complete repose, the lines of his body are sinuous all the same, recalling paintings of sensuous reclining Odalisques or Venuses by Ingres and Titian.

Gerveux’s work is in harmony with the best of the Academic tradition of drawing represented in the exhibit. As the painter and fierce proponent of this tradition, Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres, said,”Drawing is the probity of art. To draw does not mean simply to reproduce contours; drawing does not consist merely of line: drawing is also expression, the inner form, the plane, modeling. See what remains after that.”


The Essential Line: Drawings from the Dahesh Museum of Art


Frederic, Lord Leighton, P.R.A. (British, 1830-1896), Study for Daphnephoria. Charcoal and pencil heightened with white wash on blue paper.

August 26 – October 2016

Although drawing was established as an important training practice in Italy, it was the influence of Paris’ École des Beaux-Arts, the most important art school in the Western world, that instilled in artists the benefits of observation and constant drawing as the foundation for art making. This collection of 40 drawings from the Dahesh Museum of Art explores this tradition through the works of Lawrence Alma-Tadema, Rosa Bonheur, Léon-Joseph-Florentin Bonnat, Gustave Doré, Théodule-Augustin Ribot, Léopold Robert, and other artists.

St. John’s College Community Art Exhibition 2016


Jean Brinton Jaecks, Isabel’s Garden, 24×24, oil on panel

May 1 – 15, 2016 | Opening Reception: May 1, 3-5pm

This annual exhibition offers members of the St. John’s College community an opportunity to explore the visual arts. The result, a diverse collection of ceramics, paintings, drawings, prints, sculpture, textiles, and photographs, elegantly represents the artistic talent of the community.