CECILIA CUȚESCU STORCK AND LIGIA MACOVEI, A NOVEL RELATIONSHIP: MASTER AND DISCIPLE

FROM SEPTEMBER 17th 2020

THEMATIC EXHIBITION WITHIN THE MUSEUM HOUSING THE LIGA AND POMPILIU MACOVEI ART COLLECTION

CECILIA CUȚESCU STORCK AND LIGIA MACOVEI, A NOVEL RELATIONSHIP: MASTER AND DISCIPLE

The medallion-exhibition will be open between September 17th 2020 and January 31st 2020 at the museum that houses the Ligia and Pompiliu Macovei Art Collection.

In 1916, Cecilia Cuțescu Storck became the first professor at the Department of Decorative Arts, within the University of Fine Arts in Bucharest, holding this chair until 1947 and being the first woman teacher to be employed at a public art academy in Europe. During this period she also takes on and realizes a series of large, decorative mural paintings, such as: Agriculture, Industry, Commerce (1916), located in the lobby of Marmorosch Bank – a building designed by the architect Petre Alexandrescu, History of the Romanian Trading from the Aula of the Academy of Economic Studies (1933) or the Throne Hall’s ceiling of the Royal Palace: Apology of the Romanian Arts.

Being a strong personality, Cecilia Cuțescu Storck marked through her achievements the Romanian inter-war art. In his work, she tried to combine easel painting with decorative art and a vision of monumental plastic rendering.

In 1909, the artist marries the sculptor Frederic Storck, who was also a teacher at the Bucharest School of Fine Arts for 30 years. Frederic comes from a family of artists, his father, Karl, being the first teacher and the founder of the sculpture department of the School of Fine Arts. Cecilia Cuțescu Storck thus took over a valuable tradition related to urban decorative art and the didactic vocation of this family.

Cecilia first studied in Romania, then she left for Munich in 1897 and enrolled at Damenakademie, having Fehr and Schmith as teachers. In 1899 she moved to Paris, where she attended the Julian Academy, under the tutelage of Jean Paul Laurens and Benjamin Constant. After finishing her studies, many years she will be exhibiting constantly in France and Romania. In Bucharest, she will be part of Artistic Youth, a society meant to give a new impetus to the arts in Romania.

Together with two other great artists of the period, Olga Greceanu and Nina Arbore, Cecilia Cuțescu Storck establishes the Association of Women Painters and Sculptors in Romania, forming the so-called Group of the Three Ladies, one of the main aims of these organizations being the promotion of women in art. Since 1937, Cecilia Cuțescu Storck has been elected the president of the Fine Arts Trade Unions in Romania.

In Romania, Cecilia Cuțescu Storck managed to give weight to the decorative arts, wishing to raise them to the rank of major arts and being a real visionary.

Ligia Macovei studied at the School of Fine Arts in Bucharest, at the Decorative Arts Department, with teachers such as Jean A. Steriadi, Cecilia Cuţescu Storck, Corneliu Medrea and architect Horia Teodoru. She enrolled at the beginning in the drawing class of Jean Al. Steriadi and, in 1935, when she chose her specialization in decorative arts, she attended for a short time Costin Petrescu’s class, whose teaching method did not embraced, finally moving to Cecilia Cuţescu Storck’s class. Among the study colleagues she was close to Wanda Sachelarie-Vladimirescu, Mariana Petraşcu (daughter of the painter Gheorghe Petraşcu), Nuni Dona (the granddaughter of the writer Barbu Ştefănescu Delavrancea), Natalia Dumitrescu (painter established in France after the Second World War, where she activated within the Paris Réalités Nouvelles salons, a movement influenced by the painters Alberto Magnelli and Vassily Kandinsky), Eugen Drăguţescu, Alexandru Istrati, Valentina Bardu, Lucia Cosmescu, Trixy Checais (who was studying ballet with Floria Capsali).

Therefore, an important connection exists between the two artists, considering that Ligia Macovei studied at the Academy of Art, in the class of Cecilia Cuțescu Storck.

The exhibition aims to bring this special relationship to the public attention, considering that, in Cecilia Cuțescu Storck’s class, book illustration was studied in addition to decorative art or mural painting. Starting with these studies, Ligia Macovei managed to stand out in the landscape of the Romanian art as an important personality of the plastic world, while she was seen as the most talented illustrator of the Eminescu’s and Argezi’s works.

The exhibition will include a series of works from the valuable collection of the Frederic and Cecilia Cuțescu Storck Museum, exhibited inside the museum housing the Ligia and Pompiliu Macovei Art Collection, as a continuation of the exhibition concept of promoting artist’s workshop-houses. The concept was developed by the Art Department during 2019, through medallion-exhibitions, such as: “The magic of the line. Ligia Macovei and Eminescu’s lyric”, “Travel graphics. Cecilia Cuțescu Storck”or “Negative Aman”.

 

Dr. Elena Olariu, Deputy Manager – Art, Restoration, Conservation

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