Giuseppe Vasi Exhibition Debuts at the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art

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"Giuseppe Vasi's Rome: Lasting Impressions from the Age of the Grand Tour" debuts this fall at the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art at the University of Oregon. The exhibition will open with a free, preview reception on Friday, Sept. 24, from 6 to 9 p.m., and it will be on view through Jan. 2, 2011. Vasi was an 18th Century Italian engraver and architect who is best known for his cityscapes of Rome.

Giuseppe Vasi was important because he created a comprehensive, accurate and vivid impression of Rome during one of its most brilliant periods: the Age of the Grand Tour

"Giuseppe Vasi's Rome: Lasting Impressions from the Age of the Grand Tour" debuts this fall at the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art at the University of Oregon. The exhibition will open with a free, preview reception on Friday, Sept. 24, from 6 to 9 p.m., and it will be on view through Jan. 2, 2011.

Vasi was an 18th Century Italian engraver and architect who is best known for his cityscapes of Rome.

The Eugene exhibition will be curated by UO faculty members James Tice and James Harper. Tice is a UO architecture professor and a research fellow at Studium Urbis, an international study center in Rome devoted to study of the city's urban history. Harper is associate professor of art history at the UO. He worked at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the National Gallery of Art and the Fogg Art Museum at Harvard University before joining the UO faculty in 2000.

"Giuseppe Vasi's Rome" is the first major exhibition to be devoted solely to Vasi's work. Coinciding with the 300th anniversary of his birth, the exhibition combines graphic imaging technology with new research on how the 18th century Roman observed and documented his city.

"Giuseppe Vasi was important because he created a comprehensive, accurate and vivid impression of Rome during one of its most brilliant periods: the Age of the Grand Tour," Tice says.

Vasi lived and worked in Rome, where he was a contemporary of such other notable vedutisti, or view makers, as Giovanni Paolo Panini, his student Giovanni Battista Piranesi and cartographer Giovanni Battista Nolli.

"Giuseppe Vasi owed his success to a number of factors, but one of the most important was his ability to negotiate the social, political and cultural networks of his time," Harper says.

"Giuseppe Vasi's Rome" traces the emergence of Vasi's graphic chronicles within their cartographic and artistic traditions, and explores their impact on ways of seeing and interpreting the city as a work of art.

Also featured in the exhibition is a new media component that builds on two websites designed by Tice and Erik Steiner, who was assistant director of the InfoGraphics Lab in the UO Department of Geography at the time he worked on the sites. The exhibition invites viewers to use touch screens and iPads to view Vasi's work, compare them to those of other artists of the period and explore Rome, then and now, through georeferencing.

A 200-page catalog features essays from Mario Bevilacqua, Vincent Buonanno, Allan Ceen, Adrianne Hamilton, Read McFaddin, John Moore, John Pinto and the curators. It will be available for sale at Precious Cargo: The Museum Store and Duck Stores throughout Oregon for $40.

A series of educational programs, including an international symposium, are planned in conjunction with the exhibition.

The Vasi exhibition is made possible with funding from the University of Oregon Office of the Provost; Jim and Adriana Giustina, Sylvia Giustina and Natalie Giustina Newlove in memory of Lee Giustina; Nancy and David Petrone; Tim and Lisa Clevenger; the Coeta and Donald Barker Foundation Changing Exhibitions Endowment Fund; the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts; the William C. Mitchell Estate; the University of Oregon School of Architecture and Allied Arts; the Italian Cultural Institute; the Oregon Humanities Center; and JSMA members. The Samuel H. Kress Foundation provided funding through its "Old Masters in Context" program for the curators to plan the show.

Several museums, organizations and others from around the world have loaned Vasi works for the exhibition. Following its presentation at the Schnitzer Museum, the exhibition will be on view at the Princeton University Art Museum.

About the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art
The University of Oregon's Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art is a premier Pacific Northwest visual arts center for exhibitions and collections of historic and contemporary art based in a major university setting. The JSMA features significant collections galleries devoted to Russian icons and art from China, Japan, Korea, America and elsewhere as well as changing exhibition galleries. The JSMA is one of six museums in Oregon accredited by the American Association of Museums.

The Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art is located on the University of Oregon campus at 1430 Johnson Lane. Museum hours are 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesdays, and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays through Sundays. Admission is $5 for adults and $3 for senior citizens. Free admission is given to ages 18 and under, JSMA members, college students with ID, and University of Oregon faculty, staff and students. For information, contact the JSMA, 541-346-3027.

About the University of Oregon
The University of Oregon is a world-class teaching and research institution and Oregon's flagship public university. The UO is a member of the Association of American Universities (AAU), an organization made up of the 63 leading public and private research institutions in the United States and Canada. The University of Oregon is one of only two AAU members in the Pacific Northwest.

Contact: Debbie Williamson-Smith, 541-346-0942, debbiews(at)uoregon(dot)edu

Link: Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art, http://jsma.uoregon.edu

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