Ernest Roth, Campo San Boldo, Venice, 1924, Collection of Mattatuck Museum

The Mattatuck Museum recently received a grant from the Langrock Foundation to support the exhibition Reflections and Undercurrents: Ernest Roth and Printmaking in Venice, 1900-1940, which will be on view at the museum Friday, May 11 – Sunday, September 9, 2012.

Reflections & Undercurrents features prints by artists who, following the lead of the great American aesthete and expatriate artist James Abbott MacNeill Whistler (1834-1903), explored in their art the picturesque aspects of Venice. The artists represented in the exhibit include German-born American painter and etcher Ernest Roth (1879-1964), who trained at the National Academy of Design and was one of the foremost etchers of the early twentieth century; John Taylor Arms (1887-1953), known for his technically-accomplished etchings that include astonishing levels of detail; Joseph Pennell (1860-1926), who, in addition to having made many prints in a variety of media was also a devoted follower and biographer of Whistler; and Whistler himself, who is represented both by a print in the exhibition proper as well as by the Museum’s addition of its own etching, an example of the 1879-1880 Long Venice, which depicts the familiar Venetian skyline from a distance.

Reflections & Undercurrents is based on the extensive research of Eric Denker, Senior Lecturer at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., a long devoted fan of Venice whose publications include the 2003 exhibition catalogue Whistler and His Circle in Venice (The Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington) and an etiquette guide to the city co-written with his friend Judith Martin, better known as “Miss Manners” (No Vulgar Hotel: The Desire and Pursuit of Venice, 2007).

Denker will be at the Mattatuck to present a public lecture on the exhibit on Thursday, May 10, 2012 at 4:00pm in the Whittemore Gallery followed by the opening reception from 5:00-7:00pm. The lecture and reception are free and open to the public.

“We are grateful to the Langrock Foundation for their support to bring this high caliber exhibit to the Mattatuck Museum,” Robert Burns, the museum’s director, stated. “This exhibit provides a wonderful opportunity for us to shine a light onto this fascinating subject matter for our community.”

This exhibition is a traveling show, which began at The Trout Gallery, Dickenson College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania and will go to the Elizabeth Meyers Mitchell Art Gallery in Annapolis, MD after its presentation at the Mattatuck Museum. Its final presentation will be in Venice, Italy.

For more information on all of the museum’s programs, events, and exhibits visit the website at or call us at (203) 753-0381. The Mattatuck Museum is operated with support from the Connecticut Commission on Culture & Tourism, and is a member of the Connecticut Art Trail, fifteen world-class museums and historic sites ( Located at 144 West Main Street, Waterbury, the museum is open Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday, noon to 5 p.m. Convenient, free parking is located behind the museum on Park Place.