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Indepth Arts News:

"The Rau Collection: Six Centuries With The European Masters"
2005-08-29 until 2006-01-15
Tennessee State Museum
Nashville, TN, USA United States of America

The Tennessee State Museum will be the only museum in the Southeastern United States to exhibit the RAU COLLECTION: Six Centuries With The European Masters. The exhibit, which opened August 28 and runs through January 15, 2006, showcases rarely seen masterpieces by Monet, Renoir, Degas, El Greco, Canaletto, Gainsborough, Cézanne, Pissaro, Cassatt and others. "The Rau Collection is a virtual stroll through six centuries of art history," said Lois Riggins-Ezzell, executive director of the Tennessee State Museum. "As the only museum in the Southeast and the last in the United States to present this exhibition, we are providing the people of our area a rare opportunity to experience magnificent work by some of the world's greatest artists."

Riggins-Ezzell said, "This is truly an all-star lineup of the European masters from several countries, representing the beginnings of European painting in the Renaissance up to the mid-20th century, including French Impressionist and Post-Impressionist periods. It is a great honor for the Tennessee State Museum to be among the small, select group of museums to showcase this amazing array of art and to allow our visitors to see the entire spectrum of European art in one location."

She added, "Since we will be hosting the last display of these masterpieces in the United States, we are expecting great interest not only in Tennessee but also from across the Southeast."

The 95 paintings represent a selection of works of art acquired by Dr. Gustav Rau (1922-2002) over more than 40 years. In 1999, two years before his death, Dr. Rau willed the collection to UNICEF of Germany with the stipulation that it eventually be sold to raise funds for third-world philanthropy. The initial public exhibition of the collection, at the Musée de Luxembourg in Paris, drew a record attendance of 300,000 and was declared by the French media to be the best art exhibition of the year 2001.

Prior to coming to Nashville, the exhibition will have been shown in Portland, Oregon and Dayton, Ohio. When the showing at the Tennessee State Museum closes, the paintings will return to Europe.


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