An alchemical art collection is set to tour the US and Europe with help from the Chemical Heritage foundation and the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
Katharine Sanderson/Paris, France
An alchemical art collection is set to tour the US and Europe with help from the Chemical Heritage foundation (CHF) and the Philadelphia Museum of Art (PMA).
The exhibition will explore the portrayal of the alchemist in European art since the 16th century and aims to highlight the evolution of alchemical thought and practice.
’We want a confrontation between the two sides of alchemy - the adepts and the sceptics,’ said Lloyd de Witt, assistant curator of the John G Johnson collection at PMA, who is helping organise the exhibition, ’we don’t want to contrast experimental science with alchemy, alchemy was experimental science.’
The exhibition, showing in partnership with the American Federation of Arts is still looking for a suitable European museum to host the tour. Containing 60 paintings, the collection is planned to open in Philadelphia in 2009 and the long process of gathering the pieces is just beginning. The focus will be not only on paintings but also on alchemical artefacts.
’The real work is to make sure the exhibition has enough strong objects,’ said De Witt.The aim is to make the exhibition ’very public friendly, yet scholarly,’ added Marjorie Gapp, curator of art and images at CHF. ’People are still collecting and loving these images,’ she said.