About Marks of Genius:
This exhibition celebrates the MIA’s splendid collection of drawings, watercolors, and pastels. Never before has the museum exhibited such a rich selection of important drawings…
These works illuminate the fundamental and multifaceted role of drawing through the ages. Artists draw as a means of study, observation, and problem solving, as an outpouring of their imaginations and emotions, and as a method of realizing a finished work of art. The works featured here—ranging from the size of a playing card to the dimensions of a garage door—span six centuries (15th to 21st), come from two continents (Europe and North America), and are executed in a variety of media (chalk, charcoal, graphite, pen and ink, pastel, gouache, watercolor) on paper and parchment.
The exhibition is organized around six themes: (1) the artist as observer, (2) a sense of place, (3) storytelling, (4) from imaginative spark to finished design, (5) imitation/emulation/appropriation, (6) abstraction: transcending experience. This arrangement of a multitude of diverse works is designed to reveal interesting and unexpected connections across time and cultures.