Ferdinand and Isabella; Olivier and Leigh: a true marriage of minds admits no impediment. When two extraordinary talents devote their lives not only to one another but to their craft, they bring the world some of its best and brightest creations.
Of Two Minds: Creative Couples in Art and History explores the art and achievements of romantic couples from the powerful royalty of the 16th century to cinema stars of Old Hollywood to local artists creating together today. Whether richer or poorer, in sickness or in health, in traditional marriages or same-sex partnerships, these power couples of the past and present collaborated, supported, or even taught one another their crafts. They include well-known collaborators, such as printmakers William and Catherine Blake, and lesser-known (and less legally recognized) couples such as Charles Ricketts and Charles Haslewood Shannon, who designed artwork for Oscar Wilde’s books and plays, and Violet Oakley and Edith Emerson, award-winning artists and prominent Philadelphia educators. Drawn from collections of the both the Rosenbach and the Free Library, the creations on display include objects of beauty—including illustrated books, etchings, and fine silver—and articles of knowledge, figured in maps, zoological prints, and political documents.
By exploring the processes of invention and influences behind these creations, Of Two Minds not only challenges the notion that creativity and authorship are solo endeavors, but shines light on the many different ways these artists lived, loved, and created together.