New Pruzan Art Center to Showcase Two Exhibitions from Davison Art Collection

Andrew ChatfieldFebruary 7, 20244min
1200x660 Davison

Wesleyan University will open a new art venue in the center of campus, built to highlight the Davison Art Collection, on Wednesday, Feb. 14. Two exhibitions will showcase works from the collection for the first time in over four years.

The Pruzan Art Center, located at 238 Church Street in Middletown, between Wesleyan’s Olin Memorial Library and the Frank Center for Public Affairs, will be open Monday through Friday from 12:30 to 4:30 p.m. Admission is free. An opening reception will be held on Wednesday, Feb. 14 at 4:30 p.m

“We have been waiting for this moment for a long time,” said Caleb T. Winchester University Librarian Andrew White. “The Davison Art Collection is a jewel of the Wesleyan campus and a respected resource for scholars around the country and the globe, and it finally has a gorgeous, purpose-built space to highlight its strengths and amplify its impact.”

Miya Tokumitsu, Donald T. Fallati and Ruth E. Pachman Curator of the Davison Art Collection, said the new Pruzan Art Center provides an inspiring space to engage with historical and contemporary artworks from the collection. “It is my hope that community members will find it a welcoming venue to learn, teach, gather socially, and reflect on one’s own, whether for an hour or a few meaningful moments during the day,” Tokumitsu said.

One exhibition, Air Pressure, explores the representation of air in print. Working with the airless processes of printmaking, which require direct contact between a printing matrix and paper, artists have continually discovered new ways of achieving a variety of atmospheric effects in their work, from glowing clouds to changing weather systems. The Air Pressure exhibition features artworks spanning six centuries from the Davison Art Collection, including works by Rembrandt van Rijn (1606–1669), Yvonne Jacquette (1934–2023), Stow Wengenroth (1906–1978), and James McNeill Whistler (1834–1903). Air Pressure will be on display from Wednesday, February 14 through Saturday, May 25, 2024.

The exhibition Corot and the Cliché-verre in Nineteenth-Century France features a selection of 12 cliché-verre prints by French painter Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot (1796–1875) and members of the so-called Barbizon School of painters. Cliché-verre is a graphic art technique that combines aspects of printmaking and photography: a hand-drawn or painted glass plate is placed over light-sensitive paper to create a photographic image. The nineteenth century saw isolated bursts of enthusiasm for cliché-verre, but the technique never became widely practiced. Corot and the Cliché-verre in Nineteenth-Century France will be on display from Wednesday, February 14 through Friday, March 8, 2024.

The Davison Art Collection holds more than 25,000 works of art on paper, including prints, photographs, and drawings. The print collection is one of the foremost at a college or university in the United States. The collection supports teaching and learning in many ways, and was established at Wesleyan University with the founding gifts of George Willets Davison, class of 1892. For more information, please visit