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Me, Myself, and the Mirror: Self-Portraits from the Permanent Collection

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Bruce Spruance

Palmer Museum of Art is pleased to announce the opening of the exhibition Hogarth Restored. This exhibition will be on view at the Palmer Museum of Art from February 7 through May 13, 2012.

William Hogarth was best known during his lifetime, as he is today, for his satirical engravings. They were in high demand throughout his career and were printed in even greater volume, first by Hogarth’s wife and subsequently by several others, for many years following his death in 1764. By the 1790s, the plates had grown so worn that the sheets pulled from them offered only a ghost of the original image. One contemporary noted, “Some of the subjects which are still sanctioned with the name of Hogarth as the designer, are become flat, tame, and uninteresting and, instead of adorning the superb cabinets of taste and opulence, are hardly worthy of admission into the parlour of a common inn.” As a corrective, British printmaker Thomas Cook resolved to re-engrave Hogarth’s entire oeuvre. In 1795, he announced a proposal for the “engraving, printing, and publishing by subscription, a complete edition of the works by that much admired artist William Hogarth,” under the heading Hogarth Restored.

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