Francisco Goya: LOS CAPRICHOS at Art Museum this summer

Contact: Chris Potash                                                                                   FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (May 19, 2014)
610-432-4333, ext. 125
cpotash [at] allentownartmuseum [dot] org


                                                             Spanish Artist’s Etchings in the Lehigh Valley this summer

Witches, goblins, and fools populate Goya’s black-and-white world


Allentown, Pa—Francisco Goya’sLos Caprichos, one of the most influential graphic series in the history of Western art, will be presented at the Allentown Art Museum of the Lehigh Valley from June 8 through September 7, 2014. This new exhibition in Rodale Gallery features a rare first edition of the complete set of eighty etchings, which by tradition was one of the four sets acquired directly from Goya in 1799 by the duke of Osuna. It then came into the hands of Pedro Fernández Durán, of the house of the marquis of Perales, the greatest Spanish collector of the nineteenth century and a major donor to the Prado. His collector's mark appears on all eighty prints of this set. Also included in the exhibition are works by contemporary artists Emily Lombardo and Enrique Chagoya, and by Edward Hagedorn from 1925, that relate Los Caprichos to our own time.

Enigmatic and controversial, Goya's Los Caprichos were published in 1799 at a time of social repression and economic crisis in Spain. Influenced by Enlightenment thinking, the painter set out to analyze the human condition and denounce social abuses and superstitions. Los Caprichos was his passionate declaration that the chains of social backwardness had to be broken if humanity was to advance. The series attests to the artist's political liberalism and his revulsion toward ignorance and intellectual oppression. It deals with themes such as the Spanish Inquisition, the abuses of the Church and the nobility, witchcraft, child rearing, avarice, and the frivolity of young women. The subhuman cast of Los Caprichos includes goblins, monks, procuresses, prostitutes, witches, animals acting like human fools, and aristocrats; these personages populate the world on the margins of reason, where no clear boundaries distinguish reality from fantasy.

The exhibition includes an essay contributed by Robert Flynn Johnson, Curator in Charge, Achenbach Foundation for Graphic Arts, Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. Johnson’s publications include Lucian Freud: Works on Paper (W. W. Norton); Peter Milton: Complete Prints, 1960–1996 (Chronicle); Plant Kingdoms: The Photographs of Charles Jones (Thames and Hudson); Leonard Baskin:  Monumental Woodcuts, 1952–1963 (Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco); Artists’ Books in the Modern Era 1870–2000: The Reva and David Logan Collection of Illustrated Books, 2001 (Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco); Reverie and Reality: 19th Century Photography of India from the Ehrenfeld Collection, 2003 (Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco); Anonymous: Enigmatic Images from Unknown Photographers, 2004 (Thames and Hudson); and The Child: Works by Gottfried Helnwein, 2004 (Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco).

The exhibition was organized by Landau Traveling Exhibitions, Los Angeles, CA, in association with Denenberg Fine Art, West Hollywood, CA. The museum tour was organized by Landau Traveling Exhibitions, who since 1967 has presented more than five hundred fine art and architecture exhibitions at museums and university galleries throughout the world.


The Audrey and Bernard Berman Endowment Fund
Hank and Joanne Barnette
The Donald B. and Dorothy L. Stabler Foundation
The Leon C. and June W. Holt Endowment


Press Images and Media Contact:  High-resolution publicity images are available by contacting Chris Potash, Manager of Marketing and Public Relations, at cpotash [at] allentownartmuseum [dot] org.