American Treasures of the Library of Congress: Memory, Exhibit Object Focus

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A Muralist's Study

Kenyon Cox (1856-1919)
"Venice" [drapery study for central figure],
ca. 1893
Graphite drawing
Prints & Photographs Division
Exchange, Museum of Art, Rhode Island School of Design, 1945 (195.7a)
Digital ID# ppmsca-05390

Muralist painter Kenyon Cox, who worked in the academic style befitting an American renaissance in art, made several preparatory sketches for his murals, covering each in a grid with exacting measurements. In 1893 the architect Charles McKim asked Cox to create a mural entitled Venice for the new Walker Art Museum at Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine. His success led McKim to recommend him to the Library of Congress in 1895. He received a commission to paint two lunettes in the Southwest Gallery, The Arts and The Sciences. He exhibited his preparatory drawings at the Architectural League in New York to great acclaim and won work for other public spaces.

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