Romantic Scene with Ruined Castle
9 x 11 3/8 in. (22.9 x 28.9 cm)
(Rochester, New York, 1861 - 1918, Rochester, New York )
Medium and Support:
Charcoal and chalk on sandpaper
Location: Not currently on view
Sometimes, complete mysteries present themselves at MAG. How did a drawing by Walter Rauschenbusch, a giant among theologians in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, come to MAG? No paperwork exists to tell us the story.
Drawings like these, incorrectly called “sandpaper drawings,” were done as art exercises in the 19th century. Usually, the student was given the task of copying a popular print onto specially prepared board. Perhaps Rauschenbusch, who grew up in Rochester, went to a school that taught this technique. Perhaps he kept the drawing with him throughout his life; his signature is on the back, along with the word “Lent.” Perhaps, when he died, the drawing was put out with unwanted papers, or it may have been passed along to a family member, a neighbor, or a friend. At some point, the drawing was brought to MAG, but the trail, such as it is, ends there. And perhaps a visitor to our exhibition will be able to shed some light on this mystery!
[Label text from It Came From the Vault exhibition, 2013]