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Two exhibitions open at the Colby College Museum of Art on Sunday, February 11. Souvenirs of the Grand Tour presents a variety of art collected as souvenirs of Italy; American Art from the Mount Holyoke College Art Museum presents a sampling of 19th- and 20th-century art. An opening reception for both exhibits is planned for 3 to 4:30 p.m. on February 11, and the public is invited.

Souvenirs of the Grand Tour, featuring Italian paintings, sculptures, prints and more, will be on display at the Colby College Museum of Art February 11 through March 25. The exhibit includes art representative of what English tourists brought back from their 17th- to 20th-century annual tours of Italy. The “grand tour” began as an English aristocratic privilege in the 17th and 18th centuries but became a form of educational travel in the 19th and 20th centuries for all who could afford it.

Souvenirs of the Grand Tour focuses on the intellectual and cultural impact these tours had on 18th and 19th century art. Tourists brought home a variety of works from Italy, including views of famous sites, paintings, prints, watercolors, bronze and marble copies of statues and temples, local books, jewelry and more.

Included in Souvenirs of the Grand Tour are prints by Giovanni Battista Piranesi, never-before-exhibited gouache views of Naples, and travelers’ watercolor kits and writing materials. Curators for the exhibit are Michael Marlais, Colby’s James M. Gillespie professor of art, Véronique Plesch, Colby assistant professor of art; and Martin Antonetti, curator of rare books at Smith College.

American Art from the Mount Holyoke College Art Museum opens February 11 at the Colby museum and will remain on view through April 1. The exhibit presents a sampling of the finest American paintings, sculpture and furniture from Mount Holyoke College, whose museum is closed for renovations through 2002.

While the exhibit focuses on art from the 19th and 20th centuries, it includes earlier works such as a 1700 Hadley chest. Artists represented include George Inness, Albert Bierstadt, Benjamin West, Milton Avery, Isabel Bishop and Elie Nadelman. Curator for the exhibit is Michael Marlais, Colby’s James M. Gillespie professor of art.

Colby museum hours are 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and 2 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Sunday. Admission is free, and the museum is accessible to persons with disabilities. For information call (207) 872-3228 or visit www.colby.edu/museum.