By the 1860s, the Pre-Raphaelite movement had spread to the United States. The exhibit, which originated at Tate Britain, unfortunately doesn’t touch upon this development but shifts instead to latecomers to the British brotherhood, including Edward Burne-Jones whose lugubrious paintings conclude the show.
Burne-Jones collaborated with William Morris on painted furniture before Morris established his own company to produce decorative arts based on traditional craftsmanship and simple shapes. (A separate exhibit at the museum showcases the books and illustrations created by Morris and the Pre-Raphaelites.)
A gallery full of such designs evidences perhaps the most avant-garde aspect of the exhibit. This practical side of Pre-Raphaelitism morphed into the more familiar Arts and Crafts movement, the precursor to the Bauhaus.
WHAT: “Pre-Raphaelites: Victorian Art and Design, 1848-1900”
WHERE: National Gallery of Art, West Building, Sixth Street and Constitution Avenue Northwest
WHEN: Sunday through May 19; Mondays through Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sundays from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.