At the Kimbell, there has been much excitement lately over a painting of a church interior that was brought to the Museum over the summer by Mac Shafer of Mineral Wells, Texas. In a wonderful tale of rediscovery, the painting has turned out to be an extremely rare, unidentified oil sketch of San Ambrogio, Milan by Richard Parkes Bonington (1802–1828). Although Bonington is not as well known to the general public as his contemporaries Turner or Delacroix, he was one of the Romantic era’s most important painters, a virtuoso talent whose brilliant career, like Keats’s in poetry, was cut short by a very early death. The Kimbell was fortunate in 2009 to acquire an oil sketch view of Venice; we’re now even more fortunate to have made the new discovery and acquired a second Bonington oil sketch.
Later this spring and summer, don’t miss The Brothers Le Nain: Painters of Seventeenth-Century France, an exhibition featuring some of the most beautiful, moving canvases by three brothers who are among the most mysterious painters in the history of art. Originally inspired by the Kimbell’s own Le Nain painting, the exhibition is a landmark show, with loans from museums, private collections, and churches throughout the United States and Europe, including the National Gallery in London and the Louvre and Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. On June 18, be sure to attend our summer festival—in conjunction with the exhibition, we’ll be celebrating France, following up on the great success of the Japan- and Scotland-themed festivals of the past two summers.
The Kimbell is pleased to welcome extraordinary Guests of Honor over the coming months. From the Prado in Madrid arrives Titian’s Entombment of Christ, which is one of the Venetian painter’s greatest achievements—in fact, I believe it’s one of the greatest achievements in all of European painting. Our Asian collections will also have distinguished Guests of Honor: an Indian Chola bronze depicting Shiva as Lord of the Dance from the Rockefeller Collection at the Asia Society, New York; a tenth-century Himalayan Buddha Shakyamuni from the Rubin Museum of Art, New York; and a seventeenth-century Tibetan Bodhisattva Kshitigarbha, also from the Rubin.
You, our members, are integral to the success of the Kimbell. Your ranks are now 20,000 households strong, and everyone at the Kimbell is sincerely grateful for your participation and support. I hope to see you often at the Museum in the months ahead.
Eric M. Lee