‘Albrecht Dürer’s Material World’ at The Whitworth: Exhibition Reviews in The Guardian

by | Jul 11, 2023 | Uncategorised | 0 comments

In collaboration with Dr Edward Wouk, Prof Sasha Handley, and Prof Stefan Hanß, The Whitworth has just opened a new exhibition on the German Renaissance artist Albrecht Dürer.

Albrecht Dürer’s Material World considers how a changing Renaissance material world, characterised by increasing globalisation, sparked artistic creativity and major innovations in the production of art and craft in Dürer’s native Nuremberg and beyond. Woodcuts, etchings, and engravings from the Whitworth’s collection are juxtaposed with objects from Dürer’s time, including armour and tableware, scientific instruments, textiles and artefacts from across the early modern world. The show also takes a fresh look at the history of collecting Dürer’s art in the northwest of England, and the role those local collectors—many themselves involved in trade, industry, and design—played in amassing one of the country’s most significant holdings of this Renaissance artist’s graphic work.

This is the first major exhibition of the Whitworth’s Dürer collection in over half a century, situating such artworks in the wider material world of Renaissance Nuremberg—thanks to outstanding loans from the British Museum, the Royal Armouries, National Museums Scotland, the Ashmolean Museum, University of Oxford, the Germanisches Nationalmuseum Nuremberg, Chetham’s Library and the John Rylands Research Institute and Library, Manchester Museum, as well as The Museum of Medicine and Health, University of Manchester.

The exhibition, available to view until March 2024, has received wide acclaim in the press, for instance, in two articles in The Guardian:

There is also a very affordable exhibition catalogue published by Manchester University Press: https://manchesteruniversitypress.co.uk/9781526167606/

This catalogue also features articles from the international research team of ‘Albrecht Dürer’s Material World – in Melbourne, Manchester and Nuremberg’ (Australian Research Council Discovery Project DP210101623), from which much of the research motivating this exhibition stems. For more information on this project, see https://www.duerersmaterialworld.org/

We gratefully acknowledge the generous support of the following organisations: Getty Foundation through The Paper Project Initiative; The Friends of the Whitworth; The German History Society; The School of Arts, Languages and Cultures, The University of Manchester, through the Impact Support Fund; and The John Rylands Research Institute and Library.

The exhibition catalogue, available here.