Poster or Presentation Title

The Rockbridge Group: Masters Along the Maury

Access Type

Open Access

Presentation Type

Oral Presentation

Start Date

April 2019

Abstract

For the last eight decades Rockbridge County, Virginia has served as an influential center for modern art. Neighbored by the capricious Maury River and nestled against the backdrop of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Rockbridge Baths significantly impacted the lives of four distinguished modern artists. Connected by ties of friendship or kin, the Rockbridge Group—Pierre Daura, Jean Hélion, Cy Twombly, and Sally Mann—drew inspiration and support from each other and from the people and places of the Rockbridge area.

In 1928, Catalan modernist Pierre Daura (1896-1976) married Louise Blair, a Virginian studying in Paris. His friend, the French painter Jean Hélion (1904-1987), met Louise’s sister Jean at the Daura’s wedding, and they married in 1932. These two acclaimed European artists relocated to Rockbridge Baths in the later 1930s because of impending world war. Invigorated by the landscape and far from other influences, their distinct styles continued to evolve. Cy Twombly (1928-2011), born in the nearby town of Lexington, studied with Daura at his Rockbridge studio from the age of 12 until he left for college in 1946. Lexington native Sally Mann (b.1951), family friend of both Daura and Twombly, also drew from the vigorous landscape of the surrounding country in her dialectical work. This exhibition explores the question: What happens when the lives of four distinguished modern artists intertwine among the quiet, rolling foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains?

Faculty Mentor(s)

Dr. Barbara Rothermel

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Apr 10th, 3:45 PM

The Rockbridge Group: Masters Along the Maury

For the last eight decades Rockbridge County, Virginia has served as an influential center for modern art. Neighbored by the capricious Maury River and nestled against the backdrop of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Rockbridge Baths significantly impacted the lives of four distinguished modern artists. Connected by ties of friendship or kin, the Rockbridge Group—Pierre Daura, Jean Hélion, Cy Twombly, and Sally Mann—drew inspiration and support from each other and from the people and places of the Rockbridge area.

In 1928, Catalan modernist Pierre Daura (1896-1976) married Louise Blair, a Virginian studying in Paris. His friend, the French painter Jean Hélion (1904-1987), met Louise’s sister Jean at the Daura’s wedding, and they married in 1932. These two acclaimed European artists relocated to Rockbridge Baths in the later 1930s because of impending world war. Invigorated by the landscape and far from other influences, their distinct styles continued to evolve. Cy Twombly (1928-2011), born in the nearby town of Lexington, studied with Daura at his Rockbridge studio from the age of 12 until he left for college in 1946. Lexington native Sally Mann (b.1951), family friend of both Daura and Twombly, also drew from the vigorous landscape of the surrounding country in her dialectical work. This exhibition explores the question: What happens when the lives of four distinguished modern artists intertwine among the quiet, rolling foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains?