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"Impressionism Paintings Collected by European Museums"
1999-06-12 until 1999-08-28
Seattle Art Museum
Seattle, WA, USA United States of America

>Together with two other U.S. museums, the Seattle Art Museum has co-organized a highly selective and important exhibition of Impressionist paintings drawn from leading European art museums. Impressionism: Paintings Collected By European Museums, the largest-ever exhibition of Impressionist works in the Pacific Northwest, will be on view in the Special Exhibition Galleries June 12 through August 29, 1999. This exhibition was organized by the High Museum of Art, Atlanta, in collaboration with the Denver Art Museum and the Seattle Art Museum.

Impressionism will provide an overview of the revolutionary 19th-century art movement, while also offering new insights into Impressionism’s early struggle for acceptance by European collectors, dealers and museum professionals. The exhibition will include works by the preeminent artists associated with the Impressionist movement, including Paul Cézanne, Edgar Degas, Paul Gauguin, Édouard Manet, Claude Monet, Berthe Morisot, Camille Pissarro, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Alfred Sisley and Vincent van Gogh. The colorful evocations of French urban and country life have made Impressionism immensely popular in the latter half of this century. But when the Impressionists first exhibited their radical paintings in the 1870s, critics ridiculed the movement, and the general public expressed shock. This exhibition will examine how forward-looking European museums built their Impressionist collections despite the early outcry, transforming these paintings from objects of scandal to highly prized masterworks. Impressionism is organized by Ann Dumas, co-curator of The Private Collection of Edgar Degas, which was on view last year at the Royal Academy, London, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Michael E. Shapiro, deputy director and chief curator of the High Museum, Atlanta, serves as the project’s managing curator. The project is a collaboration of the High Museum, Atlanta, the Seattle Art Museum, and the Denver Art Museum. SAM is the exhibition’s second, and only West Coast, venue. In Seattle, co-curators for the exhibition are Trevor Fairbrother, SAM’s Deputy Director for Art, and Chiyo Ishikawa, curator of European painting. Among the many lenders to the exhibition are such prestigious public collections as The National Gallery, London; the Musée d’Orsay, Paris; Nasjonalgalleriet, Oslo; the Szépmuvészeti Múzeum, Budapest; the Wallraf-Richartz Museum, Cologne; and the Staatsgalerie, Stuttgart. Accompanying the exhibition is a richly illustrated scholarly catalog, including an introductory essay by Dumas and an essay on the impact of Durand-Ruel, the most important dealer of Impressionist paintings, written by his great, great-granddaughter, Caroline Durand-Ruel Godfrey. The catalog contains additional essays assessing museum collection histories. It will be on sale in the Museum Stores. Impressionism: Paintings Collected by European Museums is the Seattle Art Museum’s most ambitious exhibition project to date. Without the generous support of our sponsors this exhibition would not have been possible.

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