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Tea with Turner: Turner and Switzerland

January 21, 2020

Lecture Series in conjunction with J.M.W. Turner: Watercolors from Tate

Warm up with afternoon tea, complete with finger sandwiches and scones, and then enjoy an engaging lecture on one of many subjects relating to J.M.W. Turner and his work. A magnificent lineup of speakers will explore Turner’s world from several different angles, including his travels, techniques, and the time in which the artist lived. Tea and lectures will take place in the dining room at Latitude 41° Restaurant. We encourage participants to stop by the Collins Gallery in the Thompson Exhibition Building to visit (or re-visit!) the show beforehand.

Constance McPhee will explore Turner’s repeated visits to Switzerland, focusing on four seminal trips that he made to the area around Lucerne in the 1840s. Switzerland’s terrain and history were central to Turner’s artistic imagination, and its mountains and lakes offered him life-long inspiration. Using The Metropolitan Museum’s The Lake of Zug, 1843 as a touchstone, this talk will consider how the artist’s travel sketches offer fascinating windows into his process and supported masterful finished watercolors now regarded as highpoints of British art.

Constance McPhee is a curator in the Department of Drawings and Prints at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. She has curated exhibitions on Samuel Palmer (1805–1881): Vision and Landscape (2005), Infinite Jest: Caricature and Satire from Leonardo to Levine (2011) and The Pre-Raphaelite Legacy: British Art and Design (2014). Currently she is building the department’s British drawings holdings and planning a related exhibition.