Colby-Sawyer College’s Department of Fine and Performing Arts will host “Echoes: Selections of Art from the College’s Permanent Collection,” an exhibition of extraordinary work by master artists including Rembrandt, Katsushika Hokusai and Picasso.

The opening reception of Echoes will be held Thursday, Nov. 29, from 5 to 7 p.m. in the Center for Art + Design’s William H. and Sonja Carlson '56 Davidow Fine Art Gallery. The exhibition runs through Friday, Feb. 15. The opening reception and gallery exhibition are free and open to the public; the gallery is open weekdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., excluding the Dec. 21 — Jan. 13 winter recess.

With nearly 400 works of art, Colby-Sawyer’s Permanent Collection offers a rich survey of art history from the 1500s to the present with pieces from Europe, Japan and the United States. The collection consists almost entirely of original prints and other works on paper, with works by many of the preeminent artists of the last four centuries.

Pablo Picasso, The Bullfight, color lithograph, 11.5 x 9, 1961
Pablo Picasso, The Bullfight, color lithograph, 11.5 x 9, 1961

The 50 master prints selected for the exhibition are among the finest works in the Permanent Collection and represent five chronological and cultural periods, according to Gallery Director and Professor of Fine and Performing Arts Jon Keenan.

The first great age of printmaking in Europe ran from the 16th century through the 18th century and is represented in the exhibition by the works of Lucas Cranach, Rembrandt van Rijn, Giovanni Battista Piranesi and German master Albrecht Dürer. The etching revival in 19th-century Britain and France appears in works by Jean-François Millet, Francisco Goya, Honore Daumier and Félix Buhot.

Georges Rouault, Wassily Kandinsky, Marcel Duchamp and others illustrate the diverse expressions within the European avant-garde of the early 20th century. Prints by Martin Lewis, Fiske Boyd and John Taylor Arms demonstrate the variety of artistic production in the United States during the first half of the 20th century.

Katsushika Hokusai, Great Wave off Kanagawa (36 Views of Mt. Fuji), woodcut, 14.5" x 10", ca. 1829-33

Additionally, a group of colorful Japanese woodblock prints evoke the Edo period’s “floating world” and its legacy in works by Kitagawa Utamaro, Utagawa Hiroshige and Katsushika Hokusai.

“The Art Lesson,” a recent gift from author, artist and former faculty member Tomie dePaola, will also be on display, along with works of ceramic art created by current faculty members of the Tokyo University of Fine Art.

Professor Keenan describes the college’s Permanent Collection as a rich historical and artistic resource that highlights the role of visual literacy and culture in a liberal arts environment. This exhibition reflects the creative spirit while introducing the fundamental processes of printmaking and its place in the history of art.

“The arts enrich our lives and serve as testimony to the beliefs and values of our culture, the world and the mysteries of the unknown,” he said. “This exhibition celebrates the arts at Colby-Sawyer and the first-year anniversary of the opening of our Center for Art + Design. We hope the community is inspired by the expression and creativity on display and returns again to enjoy the exhibition.”

For more information about the exhibition, please contact Professor Keenan at or 603.526.3667.