The Frist Art Museum presents Paris 1900: City of Entertainment, an exhibition that revives the splendor of the French capital at the turn of the twentieth century, when millions visited the site of the International Exposition. Organized by the Petit Palais Museum of Fine Arts in Paris with additional loans from other Parisian museums, the exhibition will be on view in the Frist’s Ingram Gallery from October 12, 2018, through January 6, 2019. The Frist is the first of three venues in the United States to present this iteration of an exhibition that was originally on view at the Petit Palais in 2014.
With the International Exhibition of 1900 as its starting point, the exhibition offers a focused look at the different ways in which Paris became the entertainment capital of the world. Belle Époque Paris, a period of relative peace and prosperity stretching from 1874 to 1914, was the site of intense artistic and architectural innovation, which gave rise to entertainment forms that continue to remain relevant.
Bringing together over 250 objects—paintings, prints, sculptures, decorative art, costumes and fashion accessories, posters, photographs, and more—kept mainly by the City of Paris museums, Paris 1900 immerses visitors in the era’s sparkling atmosphere of elegance, pleasure, and festivity. Major artists represented in the exhibition include Pierre Bonnard, Berthe Morisot, Camille Pissarro, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Auguste Rodin, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, and Édouard Vuillard, as well as many others working across multiple mediums. The objects will be presented in six groupings: “Paris, Showcase of the World”; “Art Nouveau”; “Paris, Capital of the Arts”; “The Parisian Woman”; “Traversing Paris”; and “Paris by Night.”
The exhibition also tells the story of a vibrant and swiftly changing city. Although Paris was quite different from its idealized representation in posters and advertisements, the turn of the century was indeed an exceptional time. The city was growing rapidly and had a population of nearly three million by 1914. Additionally, Paris attracted travelers for both business purposes and leisure activities. “It is fitting that Nashville is the first stop of this exhibition’s tour,” says Frist Art Museum curator Katie Delmez.