Hampshire Life Headliners
The lines form here
“Despite the veil of secrecy, a couple of things are obvious,” wrote The New York Times of the anonymous collector behind “Private Treasures: Four Centuries of Master Drawings,” a 2007 exhibit at the Morgan Library in New York City: “The collector had significant capital for investing in old masters and either an exceptional eye or a good adviser (or both). The catalog discloses that ‘she’ assembled the collection in only 11 years.”
Turns out that “she” is a Smith alumna and that another exhibit drawn from “her” (now expanded) collection has opened as the fall show at the Smith College Museum of Art. Titled “Drawn to Excellence,” it consists of drawings by Italian and French artists spanning some 400 years, from the 16th to the early 19th century, featuring many works from a period when drawing was basically an exercise or the preliminary format for the creation of large-scale paintings and sculpture. The collection includes works by Parmigianino, Jan Bruegel the Elder, Jean-Antoine Watteau, Jean-Honoré Fragonard, Eugene Delacroix, Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres, John Constable and Edgar Degas.
“The works included in ‘Drawn to Excellence’ were specifically chosen to show the strength rather than the breadth of the collection,” says the Smith catalog for the show, and “provide an opportunity to study, compare and marvel at seldom-seen examples of master draftsmanship.” The exhibit will be at the center of a free family day at the museum Nov. 3, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. (“See drawings from the past and present and try your hand at forming your own lines using a variety of creative methods”).
Regular hours at the museum are Tues.-Sat., 10-4; Sun., 12-4. Admission is $5 general; $4 seniors; $3 students; $2 youth 6-12. smith.edu/artmuseum
Brandi you’re a fine girl
Diagnosed with attention-deficit disorder as a teen, Brandi Carlile wisely dropped out of school and became a folk-rock singing star, gaining international attention with “The Story,” her second album (2007), whose now-famous title track was played on TV’s “Grey’s Anatomy,” featured in a commercial for the Portuguese beer Super Bock (which led to the album reaching No. 4 on the Portuguese music chart), used by General Motors to promote its new line of more fuel-efficient cars and performed as the soundtrack to a montage of shots of Penn State football coach Joe Paterno during the opening and closing of the Ohio State-Penn State football game on ABC-TV on October 25, 2008 (if you get WFSB Channel 3 in Connecticut you’ve also heard it during promos for the local news).
Carlile’s most recent album is “Bear Creek,” with which, it’s said, she has finally “become an American original no longer in need of critics’ endless comparisons to other contemporary artists” but “closer to a league with Johnny Cash, Patsy Cline and their brand of hell hounds” (The Seattle Times).
Thursday at 8 p.m. at the Calvin Theatre in Northampton. The ineffable Portland, Oregon quintet Blitzen Trapper opens. $26, $36, $46. 586-8686, iheg.com
— Dan DeNicola