WFU students to guide gallery patrons

Piranesi printEighteen Wake Forest University students will lead tours of “Seeing Italy through Prints” in the main gallery of the Charlotte and Philip Hanes Fine Arts Gallery beginning Feb. 18. The guided tours are free and open to public groups by appointment.

“Seeing Italy through Prints” consists of more than 50 prints from the Wake Forest art collections, the Ackland Museum at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the Georgia Museum of Art at the University of Georgia and Davidson College.

The exhibit represents a sampling of the types of images printmakers created and sold before the invention and popularity of the photograph. Included in the exhibit are 16th-18th century engravings modeled after Michelangelo’s paintings in the Sistine Chapel and Raphael’s frescoes in the Vatican. The prints display a variety of techniques, ranging from extremely precise copies, to variations on the themes presented in the original artist’s work, to purely imagined scenes of classical subjects.

Bernadine BarnesBernadine Barnes, associate professor of art at Wake Forest, is curator of the exhibit. Barnes is the author of the book “Michelangelo’s Last Judgment: The Renaissance Response,” published by the University of California Press.

Five of the tour guides are in Barnes’ History of Prints class and 13 are students in her Michelangelo seminar. Advanced art students from Parkland High School are signed up for the first tour on Feb. 18.

Barnes sees the experience as “a way for students to get involved in what real art historians do.”

The students helped research the prints in the exhibit, made informative labels for each print and helped to setup the exhibit. They have each been on a tour of the exhibit and have researched the craft of producing prints and the processes involved.

The History of Prints class helps to curate an exhibit every year. “Seeing Italy through Prints” is the largest exhibit to be taken on by the class and these are the first tours to be offered by students. To make an appointment, or for more information, call 336-758-5585.

Editor’s Note: High resolution digital and slide images of prints included in “Seeing Italy through Prints” are available through the News Service at 336-758-5237 or

Categories: Arts & Culture, Events, University Announcement