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**THE ARTIST AT WORK** December 14, 2019 – June 28, 2020 Artists have long created images of themselves engaged in art-making. In these galleries, artists wield paintbrushes, chalk-holders, etching needles, and chisels, drawing attention to the talent required to skillfully employ their tools. By casting themselves as the primary subject of their own works through grand portraits, views of studios and art academies, and depictions of outdoor sketching expeditions, artists elevate their social status and establish their cultural importance. Most of the objects here are prints – images produced in multiple and intended for broad distribution. The deliberate choice of this artistic medium is a further strategy employed by artists to fashion and promote their public personas. Showcasing representations of artists at work drawn mainly from the Blanton’s collection, this exhibition examines the ways in which artists have performed their identities, built their reputations, and interacted with the marketplace over the last 500 years. In these images, artists ask for our interest not only in their work, but also in themselves.

Los artistas llevan mucho tiempo creando imágenes de sí mismos en el proceso de creación artística. En estas galerías, los artistas toman sus pinceles, portatizas, agujas de grabado y cinceles, dirigiendo su atención a la habilidad necesaria para utilizar estas herramientas con destreza. Al representarse a sí mismos como el tema principal de sus propias obras a través de grandes retratos, imágenes de estudios, academias de arte y representaciones de expediciones para bosquejo al aire libre, los artistas logran elevar su estatus social y establecer su importancia cultural. La mayoría de los objetos que componen esta exposición son grabados: imágenes producidas en serie y destinadas a una amplia difusión. La elección deliberada de este medio artístico es otra de las estrategias empleadas por los artistas para moldear y promover su imagen pública. Esta exposición, que presenta imágenes de los artistas en su oficio, provenientes principalmente de la colección del Blanton, analiza las formas en que los artistas han presentado su identidad, construido su reputación e interactuado con el mercado a lo largo de los últimos 500 años. En estas imágenes, los artistas solicitan que prestemos atención no sólo a su obra, sino también a su persona.

Francis Seymour Haden London, 1818 – Bramdean, England, 1910 *Portrait of Francis Seymour Haden, No. II (While Etching)*, 1862 Etching and drypoint Jack S. Blanton Curatorial Endowment Fund, 2007.3 In his self-portrait above, Francis Seymour Haden, one of England’s leading proponents of the mid-nineteenth-century etching revival, holds his etching needle like a pencil. This posture emphasizes the freedom of expression afforded by etching, a process which involves drawing a needle through the waxy ground covering a copper plate. The plate is then dipped into a bath of acid, contained in beakers near Haden’s elbow. The acid bites into the exposed lines and creates an incised design to be inked and printed. Gazing into space, Haden emphasizes the contemplative nature of his artistic pursuits. Similarly, the lower print focuses on Haden’s skilled hands, above which floats a quotation from Horace’s *Odes*: “O sweet solace of labors.” Haden produced this pictorial homage to artistic endeavor for the title page of his 1865 publication *Etudes à l'eau forte [Studies in Etching]*.

Francis Seymour Haden London, 1818 – Bramdean, England, 1910 *Hands Etching – Ô Laborum*, 1865 Etching and drypoint Purchase through the generosity of Lawrence Lawver, 2005.184


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