October 6, 2010 — January 2, 2011
The Chrysler Museum of Art was proud to host one of the greatest collections of English Victorian art anywhere—60 works from the celebrated Royal Holloway Collection.
Everyone loves a good story, and whether in print or on canvas, nobody could tell stories like the Victorians. This particular story started in 1879 when Thomas Holloway, a wealthy peddler of patent medicine, established in suburban London a college “to afford the best education suitable for Women of the Middle and Upper Classes.” Holloway believed an art gallery was central to this educational enterprise, and he spent more than $90 million (in today’s terms), on both the college and the collection of paintings that helped to make it world-famous.
The result is one of the most distinguished and focused collections of English Victorian art anywhere, and it contains many of the most admired and praised works of “modern art” shown in London during the 1880s—pictures like Edwin Longsden Long’s The Babylonian Marriage Market, William Powell Frith’s The Railway Station, and Edwin Landseer’s Man Proposes, God Disposes (each more than 8 feet wide). The individual works tell engaging stories, but together, the collection provides a fascinating snapshot of the English art world at the height of the Victorian era.