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Prints Provide Views of 18th-century Rome

A small exhibition of prints by Giovanni Battista Piranesi, an 18th-century Italian etcher and archaeologist, opens March 22 and continues through May 18 at the Hallie Ford Museum of Art at Willamette University.

Organized by Ann Nicgorski, professor of art history at Willamette and faculty curator at the museum, Piranesi: Views of Rome will include a range of prints drawn from regional collections, including the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art at the University of Oregon, Reed College, the Portland Art Museum and a private collector. The exhibition will include Piranesi's "Arch of Titus" from the collection of the Hallie Ford Museum of Art.

From 1748-74, Piranesi (1720-78) created his famous "Views of Rome," a series of prints that depicted the eternal city's majestic ruins and served for generations as the standard representations of Roman grandeur.

In conjunction with the exhibition, Marnie Stark, assistant curator of prints and drawings at the Portland Art Museum, will give a free lecture Thursday, April 3, at 7 p.m. in the Roger Hull Lecture Hall at the museum. Stark will discuss Piranesi's prints within the context of the Greco-Roman controversy in which French and German scholars dismissed Roman architecture and design as derivative and inferior to that of the Greeks.

Piranesi: Views of Rome is supported in part by grants from the City of Salem's Transient Occupancy Tax and the Oregon Arts Commission.

The Hallie Ford Museum of Art is located at 700 State St. (corner of State and Cottage streets) in downtown Salem near the campus of Willamette University. Hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 1 to 5 p.m. The galleries are closed Monday. Admission is $3 for adults and $2 for seniors and students. Children younger than 12 are admitted free, and Tuesday is an admission-free day. For more information, call (503) 370-6855 or visit www.willamette.edu/museum_of_art.

03-18-2008