Thomas Rowlandson (English, 1757- 1857) Batchelor’s Fare, Bread Cheese and Kisses, 1813 Published by Thomas Tegg, No. 111 Cheapside, plate no. 285 Etching with stipple, black ink and watercolor on cream wove paper The Lewis Walpole Library, Yale University, 814.02.10.02

In this weekly feature, we will share our ideas for what you can do “off-campus” while the museum is closed. Today’s post comes from Nicole M. Roylance, Coordinator of Public Education and Information.

Standing in line at the grocery store and scanning the magazines, you might think that our modern society is on the brink of moral collapse. The covers are crowded with loose women, lotharios, cheaters, and corrupt politicians. Perhaps you ::tsk, tsk:: to yourself about our morally bankrupt culture. Or perhaps you pick up a juicy tabloid to read about the scandal of the week.

Loose women, lotharios, cheaters, and corrupt politicians existed before 2011. And an interest in these colorful characters is not new. Thomas Rowlandson (English, 1757-1827) was a masterful satirist who presents the twenty-first century viewer with a revealing glimpse of Georgian society. Rowlandson captured the affairs, transgressions, and hypocrisies of Georgian England in his drawings, watercolors, and prints.

Thomas Rowlandson: Pleasures and Pursuits in Georgian England, an exhibition organized by the Art Center, opens this weekend at the Mary & Leigh Block Museum at Northwestern University on Chicago’s North Shore. The exhibition presents an opportunity to laugh with Rowlandson about the eternal follies of man. Thomas Rowlandson: Pleasures and Pursuits in Georgian England will be on view at the Block from January 14- March 13, 2011 and will then be installed at the Art Center from April 8- June 12, 2011.

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