Albrecht Dürer’s material world at the Whitworth

Albrecht Dürer's Material World

Art History’s Edward Wouk, together with Professors Sasha Handley and Stefan Hanß, both of History, have co-curated the landmark exhibition Albrecht Dürer’s material world at the Whitworth (30 June 2023-10 March 2024), together Whitworth Curator (Historic Fine Art) Imogen Holmes Roe, and an international team of researchers based in Manchester, Melbourne, and Europe.

The exhibition, which developed out of a major research project funded by the Australian Research Council, reconsiders how a changing Renaissance material world, characterised by increasing globalisation, sparked artistic creativity and major innovations in the production of art and craft in Dürer’s native Nuremberg and beyond.

Generous support from the Getty Foundation’s Paper Project initiative and other funders underwrote costs associated with conservation, loans from major UK and European partners, and the innovative display of close to one hundred works, bringing visitors face to face with the Whitworth’s outstanding Dürer collection for the first time in over half a century.

Nicholas Wroe, writing in The Guardian, praises the exhibition as a show of ‘both familiarity and wonder’. ‘It's almost disturbing to see so many of his great printed pictures’, states Jonathan Jones in another stellar review in The Guardian, praising the balance of between the Whitworth’s ‘selection of some of his greatest prints, with excellent loans’. 

Jones concludes that this exhibition is ‘a mesmerising encounter with an artist so far from us in time, yet so shockingly close’—'the prince of prints’, as Richard Holledge puts it in his exhibition review in The New European. In Northern Soul, Desmond Bullen applauds this ‘magnificent new retrospective’: ‘Beautifully considered, every minute of the five years’ research underpinning the composition of this enthralling exhibition is manifest in its Dürer-like attention to detail’.

Wouk, together with Jennifer Spinks, edited the accompanying catalogue, published by Manchester University Press.

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