This exhibition is the second in a comprehensive series inaugurated in November 1965, which illustrates the art of drawing through the resources of public and private collections located in New York City and its suburbs. Organized jointly by The Pierpont Morgan Library and The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the exhibitions alternate between the two institutions, the first, of the Italian Renaissance, having been shown at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the second now taking place at the Morgan Library. Each exhibition is commemorated in a catalogue, in which every drawing is fully described and illustrated.
This series was a cooperative venture in which the Metropolitan's late Director, James J. Rorimer, took particular pleasure, participating actively in its planning, reading with a close critical eye the printer's proof of the first catalogue, and presiding at the inaugural exhibition. We shall carry on the projected series, but with a deep sense of loss.
Italian painting of the seventeenth century aroused little enthusiasm among Americans in the first half of the twentieth century. It is all the more gratifying that we have been able to assemble so representative a selection of drawings of the period from within our immediate area. To be sure, we have been fortunate as before in being able to borrow from collectors who began their buying as Europeans, but it is also evident that recently in this country museums and their patrons increasingly appreciate seventeenth-century Italian drawings and paintings.