Thursday, May 30, 2019

Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera, and Mexican Modernism from the Jacques and Natasha Gelman Collection

Frist Museum
May 24–September 2, 2019 

The Frist Art Museum presents Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera, and Mexican Modernism from the Jacques and Natasha Gelman Collection—an exhibition that captures the vitality and expressiveness of twentieth-century Mexican art with iconic works by Frida Kahlo, her husband Diego Rivera, and their contemporaries, including Manuel Álvarez Bravo, María Izquierdo, José Clemente Orozco, and David Alfaro Siqueiros. Organized by the Vergel Foundation and MondoMostre in collaboration with the Instituto Nacional de Bellas Artes y Literatura (INBAL), the exhibition will be on display in the Frist’s Ingram Gallery from May 24 through September 2, 2019.

Among the more than 150 works on view will be seven painted self-portraits by Kahlo, Rivera’s Calla Lily Vendor, and numerous portraits of the Gelmans, plus more than fifty photographs that provide insight into Kahlo and Rivera’s passionate love affair and how the couple lived, worked, and dressed.

Husband-and-wife collectors Jacques and Natasha Gelman were glamorous and wealthy Eastern European refugees who married in Mexico in 1941, took part in Mexico City’s vibrant art scene, and acquired art mostly from their artist friends. In 1943, Jacques commissioned a full-length portrait of Natasha from Rivera, Mexico’s most celebrated painter. “The Gelmans formed close friendships with many artists in this exhibition, often acting as patrons and promoters of their careers and assembling one of the finest collections of modern Mexican art in the world along the way,” says Frist Art Museum curator Trinita Kennedy.

Born in 1907 in Coyoacán, a suburb south of Mexico City, Kahlo had a difficult childhood, facing a bout with polio at age six and a bus accident at the age of 18 that left her disabled and often bedridden. “It was during her recovery from the accident that Kahlo began to paint, in part because she was bored in bed. She spent hours alone with an easel and a mirror painting her own face,” says Kennedy. “She never attended art school, but as she considered a career as an artist, she sought out several of Mexico’s leading painters, including Rivera, whom she had met several years earlier.” Their friendship became a courtship, with the two marrying in 1929. Unfaithful to each other, the pair divorced in 1939, only to remarry in 1940.

In the early twentieth century, Mexico’s artistic avant-garde was closely tied to political and social revolution. Following Mexico’s civil war from 1910 to 1920, the government enlisted male painters to produce monumental murals in public buildings. Rivera was a revered figure in this muralism movement and an avowed Communist. “Using art, which could be understood by the masses, Rivera, Orozco, Siqueiros and others helped Mexico fashion a new identity rooted in its own unique history,” says Kennedy.

Rivera’s artistic works, as well as his vocal opinions on the role of art, would shape the development of Mexican culture throughout the first half of the twentieth century. “His depictions of Mexican traditions and everyday life soon came to epitomize Mexican culture at home and abroad, including the United States where he created murals in San Francisco, Detroit, and New York,” says Kennedy.

Rivera also created easel paintings representing poignant scenes of everyday life and labor in Mexico, such as  

 The Flower Vendor (Girl with Lilies)

Calla Lily Vendor, a luminous painting that celebrates the beauty and strength of Mexico and its people.

Like Rivera, Kahlo infused her work with mexicanidad, an identification with Mexico’s distinct national history, traditions, culture, and natural environment, but in a much more personal way. About a third of her paintings are self-portraits, the works for which she is now most celebrated. They accentuate her distinctive appearance, characterized by a v-shaped unibrow, deep brown eyes, mustache, carefully coiffed hair with braids, and indigenous Mexican clothing.

 Self Portrait as a Tehuana, 1943 by Frida Kahlo

In Diego on My Mind (Self-Portrait as Tehuana), for example, she crowns herself with a festive indigenous Mexican headdress known as a resplandor.

Known primarily in artistic circles during her lifetime, Kahlo’s paintings began to attract widespread international attention in the decades following her death. Her work and life story continued to resonate in pop culture with the success of Frida, a 1983 biography by Hayden Herrera, and the 2002 biopic Frida, starring Salma Hayek.

The exhibition includes more than fifty photographs of Kahlo, most of which were taken by noted photographers, such as Lola Álvarez Bravo, Nickolas Muray, and Edward Weston. There is also a special gallery focused on Kahlo’s unique personal style, which offers insight into her wardrobe, hairstyles, and jewelry. An interactive touchscreen allows visitors to explore elements of her clothing and to learn why she wore them. The exhibition concludes with haunting black-and-white photographs of Kahlo’s crutches, corset, and bed, taken recently at the Casa Azul, her former home in Coyoacán, by contemporary artists, including Patti Smith. “Directly associated with her pain, these objects are venerated as relics,” says Kennedy. “As the photos attest, Kahlo’s ability to create magical paintings despite the suffering caused by her broken body captivates and inspires many of us today.”
The works collected by the Gelmans offer an unrivaled opportunity to encounter the chaotic and creative Mexican art world of the first half of the twentieth century in all its complexity. Modern Mexican art exerted a key influence on modern art in the United States, and its impact continues to be felt throughout the world today.

Organized by The Vergel Foundation and MondoMostre


Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera, and Mexican Modernism from the Jacques and Natasha Gelman Collection

Foreword by John R. Lane and Lou Anne Colodny; essay by James Oles
88 pages, 36 illustrations, 8 ¾ x 11 ¾ inches, softcover
Published in 1996
The Gelman Collection represents one of the most remarkable holdings of Mexican modernism in private hands. It is graced by the outstanding works of renowned artists Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera, José Clemente Orozco, and David Alfaro Siqueiros, among many others. This bilingual catalogue features lavish illustrations of thirty key works from this collection, as well as a lively and insightful essay placing these works in both a critical and a historical context. From stunning self-portraits and paintings inspired by European modernist artists to still lifes and abstract landscapes, this volume offers an extraordinary overview of the evolution of twentieth-century Mexican art. In English and Spanish.
Published on the occasion of the exhibition Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera, and Mexican Modernism from the Jacques and Natasha Gelman Collection, held at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (April 18–September 8, 1996), and the exhibition Mexican Modernism from the Jacques and Natasha Gelman Collection, held at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Miami (October 5–December 2, 1996)
ISBN 9780918471376 (softcover)

Félix Vallotton: Painter of Disquiet

Royal Academy of Arts, London 

June 30–September 29, 2019

The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

October 29, 2019–January 26, 2020 

Felix Vallotton

The Visit (La Visite), 1899.

Félix Vallotton (1865-1925) created indelible imagery of fin-de-siècle Paris in painted portraits and interior narratives that pulse with psychological tension. Witness to the radical aesthetics that gripped Paris in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Swiss-born and Paris-educated Vallotton is today recognized as a distinctive artist of his generation.

Félix Vallotton, Self-portrait at the Age of Twenty (Autoportrait à l’âge de vingt ans), 1885.

Opening October 29 at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Félix Vallotton: Painter of Disquiet will present pivotal moments in the artist’s career as painter and printmaker through some 70 works of art from more than two dozen lenders.


Félix Vallotton, The Ball (Le Ballon), 1899.

The exhibition is organized by The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, and the Royal Academy of Arts, London, in collaboration with Fondation Félix Vallotton, Lausanne.

Félix Vallotton, Intimacies V: Money (Intimités V: L'Argent), 1897-8.

Highlights of the exhibition will include Vallotton’s trenchant woodcuts of the 1890s, prints that solidified his reputation as a graphic artist of the first rank while boldly messaging his left-wing politics. Additionally, for the first time, Vallotton’s portrait of the legendary American collector Gertrude Stein will be displayed alongside Picasso’s painting of this formidable woman in The Met collection.

Félix Vallotton, Sunset, Villerville (Coucher de soleil, Villerville), 1917.

Arriving in Paris at the age of 16, Vallotton attended the Académie Julian, where he trained under the painters Jules Lefèbvre and Gustave Boulanger. Immersing himself in Parisian life as participant and keen observer, Vallotton’s early works are replete with witty and often unsettling observations of domestic and political life. He attained early recognition of his talents as a printmaker, and his illustrations proliferated in literary magazines and left-wing journals through the 1890s. While he spared no barbs satirizing the French bourgeoisie, Vallotton married into their ranks in 1899. (His wife was a member of the famed Bernheim-Jeune family of art dealers.)

Félix Vallotton, Red Peppers (Poivrons rouges), 1915.
Vallotton circulated briefly within the Nabi artists—Bonnard, Vuillard and Denis, to name a few. Bonnard and Vuillard remained his friends for years after the Nabi disbanded. Vallotton’s marriage brought financial security and an end to printmaking as an essential source of revenue. Thereafter, the artist devoted himself exclusively to painting, dividing his time between bourgeois Paris and Normandy, where he spent his summers.

A catalogue published by the Royal Academy will accompany the exhibition.

The exhibition is organized at The Met by Dita Amory, Curator in Charge of the Robert Lehman Collection.

Renewing the American Spirit: The Art of the Great Depression

John Marin (American, 1870 – 1953). Rough Sea, Cape Split, Maine , 1932. Oil on canvas. Oklahoma City Museum of Art. Museum purchase from the Beaux Arts Society Fund for Acquisitions, 1987.011. Photo: Josep h Mills
Walt Kuhn (American, 1877 – 1949). Tiger Trainer , 1932. Oil on canvas. Oklahoma City Museum of Art. Museum purchase with funds provided by the Friends of the Okla homa Art Center, 1981.035. Photo: Joseph Mills
Stephen Mopope (American, 1898 – 1974). Love - Call , 1931. Tempera on paper. Oklahoma City Museum of Art. Gift of the Oklahoma Art League, 1966.119. Photo: Bryan Cook
This fall, “Renewing the American Spirit: The Art of the Great Depression” explores the physical and social landscape of the United States during the Great Depression through paintings, prints, photographs and other media. This original exhibition includes a selection of works from the Oklahoma City Museum of Art’s excellent collection of WPA art, a recently acquired monumental mural by Gardner Hale, which has not been exhibited publicly since the First President's bicentennial exhibition in 1932, and several loans from regional institutions.

“Renewing the American Spirit” examines the diverse responses of artists to the social upheaval and economic distress that characterized American life in the 1930s. Together, the aesthetically and politically varied works produced in the 1930s paint a revealing portrait of the nation’s evolving psyche as it sought to move ahead through one of the country’s most challenging periods.

“The art of this time period provided artists with relief, documented the social injustices of the time and even functioned as forms of propaganda,” said Michael Anderson, director of curatorial affairs. “‘Renewing the American Spirit’ examines the formation of a new national identity, one that would prove short-lived aesthetically with the rise of the American avant-garde after the end of World War II, but far reaching politically through the creation of the New Deal coalition.”

‘“The Triumph of Washington,’ Gardner Hale’s monumental mural, adds to the Museum’s impressive holdings in Great Depression-era art,” added Anderson. “The painting presents a dynamic and triumphant fictionalized view of the general and head of state, on horseback, amidst flag-bearing soldiers, and in front of a looming twentieth century skyline. We are deeply grateful to D. Wigmore Fine Art for the gift of this major work and excited to include it as a focal point for this new exhibition.”

Gardner Hale was well known for his murals and frescoes in the early 1900s. He had a studio in NYC and was a member of the Architectural League of New York, National Society of Mural Painters, American Federation of Arts, Salons of America and Society of Independent Artists. His work has been exhibited at the Art Institute of Chicago, Society of Independent Artists and Salons of America.

In addition to the Museum's renowned collection of WPA art and “The Triumph of Washington by Gardner Hale, the exhibition features key examples of Depression-era Native American art, highlighted by the work of Acee Blue Eagle, and paintings and works on paper by Hans Hofmann, John Steuart Curry, Grant Wood, Thomas Hart Benton and Milton Avery.

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

The Renaissance of Etching

The Metropolitan Museum of Art 

October 23, 2019–January 20, 2020

The Albertina Museum in Vienna 

February 12–May 10, 2020

Renaissance of Etching
Exhibition Dates:  October 23, 2019–January 20, 2020 
Exhibition Location:  The Met Fifth Avenue, Galleries 691–693
The Charles Z. Offin Gallery, Karen B. Cohen Gallery,
Harriette and Noel Levine Gallery 

The emergence of etching on paper in Europe in the late 15th and early 16th centuries—when the technique moved out of the workshops of armor decorators and into those of printmakers and painters—was a pivotal moment that completely changed the course of printmaking. Opening October 23, The Renaissance of Etching will trace the first 70 years of the etched print, from ca. 1490 to ca. 1560, through some 125 etchings created by both renowned and lesser-known artists. The prints will be displayed alongside a selection of drawings, printing plates, illustrated books, and armor. The works are drawn from the collections of The Met, The Albertina Museum, and a number of European and American lenders.

Cornelis Anthonisz: The Fall of the Tower of Babel
Cornelis Anthonisz 1505 – 1553

The Fall of the Tower of Babel

Image result for Francesco Parmigianino Woman resting
Francesco Parmigianino Woman resting

It is organized by The Metropolitan Museum of Art and The Albertina Museum.

Etching is an intaglio printmaking technique in which lines or areas on a metal plate are incised with acid in order to hold ink; the image on the plate is then printed onto paper. Artists today etch prints much the way they did in the early 16th century. In essence, the technique is equivalent to drawing on the surface of a printing plate. As a result, etching has an ease that opened the door for all kinds of artists to make prints. Among the pioneers of the medium are some of the greatest painters of the Renaissance, including Albrecht Dürer, Francesco Parmigianino, and Pieter Bruegel the Elder.

The Met’s exhibition will begin with the origins of etching in the workshop of the German printmaker and armor decorator Daniel Hopfer and then move on to explore the ways in which a range of artists from Germany, Flanders, Italy, and France began to experiment with the new medium. In the transition from armor to print, a technique used to create unique and costly armor for elite patrons transformed into one used to produce relatively inexpensive prints for a broad audience. Furthermore, what was once the artwork (the etched metal armor) was now the tool used to create the artwork (the metal plate printed on paper).

The exhibition will conclude with the period around 1560, when the technique became professionalized and the Netherlandish print publisher Hieronymus Cock employed etchers to create prints after designs produced by other artists. This period marked a transition from the use of etching as a means of experimentation to its standardization and expansion by printmakers and print publishers.

Following its presentation at The Met, the exhibition will be on view at The Albertina Museum in Vienna (February 12–May 10, 2020).

A fully illustrated catalogue will accompany the exhibition:

The Renaissance of Etching

Nadine Orenstein, Freyda Spira, Catherine Jenkins, and Christof Metzger

Nadine Orenstein is Drue Heinz Curator in Charge, and Freyda Spira is associate curator, both in the Department of Drawings and Prints at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Catherine Jenkins is an independent scholar. Christof Metzger is curator in charge of Department of Drawings and Prints at the Albertina Museum, Vienna.
View Inside Price: $65.00

November 12, 2019
304 pages, 9 x 10 1/2
237 color illus.
ISBN: 9781588396495
Published by the Metropolitan Museum of Art/Distributed by Yale University Press

The first comprehensive look at the origins and diffusion across Europe of the etched print during the late 15th and early 16th centuries

The etching of images on metal, originally used as a method for decorating armor, was first employed as a printmaking technique at the end of the 15th century. This in-depth study explores the origins of the etched print, its evolution from decorative technique to fine art, and its spread across Europe in the early Renaissance, leading to the professionalization of the field in the Netherlands in the 1550s. Beautifully illustrated, this book features the work of familiar Renaissance artists, including Albrecht Dürer, Jan Gossart, Pieter Breughel the Elder, and Parmigianino, as well as lesser known practitioners, such as Daniel Hopfer and Lucas van Leyden, whose pioneering work paved the way for later printmakers like Rembrandt and Goya. The book also includes a clear and fascinating description of the etching process, as well as an investigation of how the medium allowed artists to create highly detailed prints that were more durable than engravings and more delicate than woodblocks.

L’Affichomania: The Passion for French Posters

Taft Museum of Art, Cincinnati, Ohio, USA June 8-Sept. 15, 2019;

Vero Beach Museum of Art, Vero Beach, Florida, Oct. 19, 2019-Jan. 12, 2020; 

Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum, Wausau, Wisconsin, March 7-May 31, 2020; 

Bellevue Arts Museum, Bellevue, Washington, June 26-Aug. 23, 2020; 

June Collins Smith Museum of Art, Auburn University, Auburn, Alabama, Sept. 19, 2020-Jan. 3, 2021; 

Brigham Young University Museum of Art, Provo, Utah, Sept. 3, 2021-Feb. 19, 2022;

Memphis Brooks Museum of Art, Memphis, Tennessee, March 19-June 12, 2022.

The dynamism and style of turn-of-the-century Paris are brought to life in this spirited exhibition featuring approximately 50 iconic French posters dating from 1875 to 1910. L’Affichomania: The Passion for French Posters showcases the remarkable images of five master printmakers who worked in France: 

Jules Chéret, Théâtrophone, 1890, color lithograph, photograph by John Faier, © 2015, courtesy of the Richard H. Driehaus Museum

 Jules Chéret, 


Eugène Grasset, 

Alphonse Mucha, "Princess Hyacinth", 1911.

  Courtesy the Driehaus Museum Alphonse Mucha, "Princess Hyacinth", 1911

Alphonse Mucha, Théophile-Alexandre Steinlen and Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec. 

These pioneering artists reigned in Paris during an astonishing stretch of artistic creativity and developed the vivid new visual style on view in this exhibition.

Significance:  The works in L’Affichomania: The Passion for French Posters represent some of the most compelling and well-known examples of French poster art such as 

Steinlen’s Le Chat Noir 

 Moulin Rouge:  La Goulue, 
    ArtistHenri de Toulouse-LautrecPrinterAffiches Américaines, Charles Lévy,Prints, Posters
and Toulouse-Lautrec’s Moulin Rouge: La Goulue. 

 The exhibition explores the richness of the artists’ achievements in this emerging medium and the visually powerful role of the poster in French society.

Bright, bold and promoting everything from products and inventions to the famed Bohemian events and performers of Montmartre, the large-scale color lithographs were heralded as a new art form – a brilliant fusion of craft and commerce. The popularity of posters fueled a passion for collecting them, called affichomanie (craze for posters). Thanks to relaxed posting guidelines, along with advances in color printing, tens of thousands of posters were plastered along the streets of Paris every year. Pedestrians encountered these large prints throughout the city, making graphic art and design a part of modern daily life.

Tour:  The exhibition premieres at the Taft Museum of Art, the first stop on a nationwide tour of the following venues:

Organizer:  L’Affichomania: The Passion for French Posters was organized by the Richard H. Driehaus Museum in Chicago and drawn entirely from the Museum’s collection of fine and decorative arts.

Curator:  Jeannine Falino is an independent curator, museum consultant and professor specializing in decorative arts, craft and design.

Book:  A publication of the same title accompanies the exhibition and includes texts by the curator and by collector Richard H. Driehaus.

Chapters of Artist James McNeill Whistler’s Life in Two Exhibitions

Arthur M. Sackler Gallery and Freer Gallery of Art.
Whistler in Watercolor
May 18–Oct. 6

For renowned artist Whistler (1834–1903), watercolor was the medium through which he reinvented himself in the 1880s and painted his way into posterity. Now, four co-curators at the Smithsonian’s Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery have brought together the worlds of art history, conservation and scientific research to give the public special insight into this part of Whistler’s life and rare access to the artworks in the exhibition “Whistler in Watercolor.”

Because of his great affinity for Whistler’s art, Freer amassed the world’s largest collection of watercolors by the artist and included them in his bequest to the Smithsonian in 1906. Freer’s collection comprises more than 50 examples—figures, landscapes, nocturnes and interiors—of Whistler’s watercolors, yet they have never left the Freer Gallery of Art. “Whistler in Watercolor” introduces people to the artist’s vast creative output and provides wide access to a rarely seen segment of his work.

“This is a groundbreaking exhibition for a number of reasons,” said curator Lee Glazer. “The watercolors—‘dainty,’ ‘beautiful’ and ‘portable’ as the artist described them—are critical to understanding how Whistler’s art historical ambition and his canny understanding of the commercial art market coalesced.”

“Whistler in Watercolor” does much more than assemble the full range of Whistler’s work in watercolor. It is the culmination of research by museum curators, scientists and conservators that shines new light on Whistler’s materials, techniques and artistic genius.

The Freer|Sackler’s Department of Conservation and Scientific Research is the foremost center in the United States for the care and scientific study of the arts of Asia. “Whistler in Watercolor” gave staff the rare opportunity to investigate some of the museum’s American collection.

McCarthy, together with paper conservator Emily Jacobson, employed scientific tools including reflected infrared imaging, which revealed alterations in composition and microscopic examination, to examine the watercolors and learn more about Whistler’s techniques, which uncovered information about the artist’s use of watercolor paper. The team’s methods and discoveries are fully described in the accompanying publication Whistler in Watercolor.

This exhibition is the culmination of more than four years of art historical and scientific research of these rarely seen pieces of art, and a perfect example of how Freer|Sackler experts—sometimes in unexpected ways—care for, research and share the museums’ unique collections.

The Ocean Wave James McNeill Whistler (1834–1903)1883–84 Watercolor on paper. Gift of Charles Lang Freer,Freer Gallery of Art,

abstract watercolor of blue-green waves and gray cloudy skies

Blue and Silver–Choppy Channel James McNeill Whistler (1834–1903)ca. 1893–97 Watercolor on paper mounted to board. Gift of Charles Lang Freer, Freer Gallery of Art,

The Peacock Room in Blue and White
May 18—ongoing
What ultimately led Whistler to delve seriously into watercolors was one of the more infamous chapters in his career—his creation of the now-iconic Peacock Room for his patron Frederick Leyland, a shipping magnate in London. With the blue-and-white ceramics reinstalled, curators at the Freer|Sackler have returned the room to how it appeared in Whistler’s time.
In 1876, Leyland had the shelves of his dining room filled with blue-and-white Chinese porcelains of the Kangxi era. Their patterns and colors inspired Whistler to redecorate the room in a profusion of blue, green and gold patterns similar to peacock plumage. The intricate patterns provided a tonal counterpoint to the bolder patterns and colors of the porcelains. Leyland, however, found the artist’s modifications—and his fee—excessive. The two men quarreled, and Leyland terminated his relationship with Whistler. The loss of this key patron, combined with the legal fees incurred during Whistler’s libel suit against art critic John Ruskin, sent the artist into bankruptcy. He turned to watercolors in the 1880s as way to broaden the audience for his work and take his career in a fresh direction.
The challenge for the museum’s curators to present the space as Whistler intended was having enough porcelains to fill the room. Kangxi-era pots in the Freer collection could only fill less than half of the 218 shelves, so the curators decided to commission more than 100 new vessels.
“Blue-and-white porcelain from the Freer collection adorn the shelves of the east and north walls, and newly commissioned pieces in the Kangxi style line the west and south walls,” said Kerry Roeder, the Luce curatorial fellow at the Freer|Sackler. “These porcelains are not reproductions of historical blue-and-white ware. Instead, they reflect the continuity of a 1,500-year-old porcelain-making tradition in Jingdezhen, China, and several are representations of objects in our collection.”
Porcelain production during the Kangxi period greatly expanded China’s export trade with Europe, sparking the East-West exchange that endures to this day.
“One of the most thrilling aspects of this new installation is that it allows visitors to experience the room in much the same way Whistler originally envisioned it,” Roeder said.

Monsters & Myths: Surrealism and War in the 1930s and 1940s

Frist Art Museum 
June 21 through September 29, 2019

The Frist Art Museum presents Monsters & Myths: Surrealism and War in the 1930s and 1940s, an exhibition that explores the powerful and unsettling images created in response to the threat of war and fascist rule. Featuring works by Luis Buñuel, Salvador Dalí, Max Ernst, René Magritte, Joan Miró, Pablo Picasso, Dorothea Tanning, and others, the exhibition will be on display in the Frist’s Upper-Level Galleries from June 21 through September 29, 2019.

Through 78 objects, including paintings, drawings, film, and sculptures drawn primarily from the collections of The Baltimore Museum of Art and The Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Monsters & Myths highlights the brilliance and fertility of this period, which arose in response to Hitler’s rise to power, the Spanish Civil War, and World War II—events that profoundly challenged the revolutionary hopes that had guided most Surrealist artists in the 1920s.

“In this exhibition, Surrealists’ portrayals of monsters, fragmented bodies, and other depictions of the grotesque are explored as metaphors for the threat of violence and fears and fantasies of unbridled power,” says Frist Art Museum chief curator Mark Scala.

Since 1924, artists and writers associated with the Surrealist movement had aimed to deconstruct the social order, particularly through targeting oppressive traditions by embracing the irrational and the marvelous in pursuit of psychic liberation.

“Seeking access to hidden truths, the artists in this show used their darkest imaginings to confront trauma,” says Scala. “They employed the language of dreams, free association, and Freudian psychoanalytic theory to help transform both themselves and a society that seemed inescapably bound for fascism and war.”

Through each artist, the psychological power of monstrosities appears in different guises in the exhibition. The first section, titled “The Emergence of Monsters,” focuses on the symbolism of deformation, fragmentation, and hybridity to reflect the inhumanity of war as well as individual psychological torment. In this section, Picasso reintroduces the myth of the Minotaur, a symbol of the repressed forces of the unconscious. Hans Bellmer and

André Masson. There Is No Finished World. 1942. The Baltimore Museum of Art: Bequest of Saidie A. May, BMA 1951.333. © Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris

André Masson merge violence and malevolent sexuality in images of dismemberment and mutilation. Headless bodies in works by Alberto Giacometti and Magritte symbolize the loss of reason.

The exhibition continues with the section titled “The Spanish Civil War,” which includes paintings and prints by


Dalí, Miró, and Picasso, among others, capturing their despair at the brutality of the fascists in their war with the republican government.

Immediately following “The Spanish Civil War,” the section “World War II” features works that portend the coming disasters and capture the emotional upheavals experienced by artists during the early years of the war. While these responses are marked by anxiety and distress, a surprising beauty can be seen in even the most horrific works, such as Wolfgang Paalen’s painting of colorful bird-like demons in The Battle of Saturnian Princes III (1939).

The section “Dislocation and Survival” features extraordinary paintings by Surrealists, including Dalí, Ernst, Masson, and Roberto Matta who fled the war, mostly for the United States.

Photo Credit: Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris
Ernst’s painting Europe After the Rain II (1940–42) spans the mutating structures and human wraiths of a post-apocalyptic Europe with the crystalline outcroppings of a desert landscape, inspired by Ernst’s experience as an exile visiting Arizona. Like the other works in this section, Europe After the Rain II underscores transitions between past and present, reality and dream, and reason and irrationality that were acutely felt by these expatriate artists.

The exhibition concludes with “Surrealism in the Americas,” showing the influence of exiled European artists like Masson and Ernst on Americans such as Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko, and Tanning. Highlights include Tanning’s phantasmagorical painting The Temptation of Saint Anthony.

Also included in the exhibition is the film Un Chien Andalou (1929) by Buñuel and Dalí, which contains a network of narratives relating to anticlericalism, unfulfilled desire, memory, and death.

Exhibition Catalogue

The exhibition is accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue published by Rizzoli Electra with essays by exhibition curators Oliver Shell, Baltimore Museum of Art associate curator of European Art, and Oliver Tostmann, Susan Morse Hilles Curator of European Art at The Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art. Other contributors are Robin Adèle Greeley, associate professor of modern & contemporary Latin American art history at the University of Connecticut and the author of Surrealism and the Spanish Civil War, and Samantha Kavky, associate professor of art history at Pennsylvania State University–Berks and co-editor of the Journal of Surrealism and the Americas.

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Renoir: The Body, The Senses

Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, Massachusetts 
June 8–September 22, 2019 
Kimbell Art Museum,  Fort Worth, Texas 
October 27, 2019–January 26, 2020
Over the course of his long career, Pierre-Auguste Renoir (French, 1841–1919) continually turned to the human figure for artistic inspiration. The body—particularly the nude—was the defining subject of Renoir’s artistic practice, from his early days as a student copying the old masters in the Louvre to the early twentieth century, when his revolutionary style of painting inspired the masters of modernism.

In recognition of the centenary of Renoir’s death, the Clark Art Institute and the Kimbell Art Museum present Renoir: The Body, The Senses. This daring exhibition is the first major exploration of Renoir’s unceasing interest in the human form, and it reconsiders Renoir as a constantly evolving artist whose style moved from Realism into luminous Impressionism, culminating in the modern classicism of his last decades.

Co-organized by Esther Bell, Martha and Robert Lipp Chief Curator at the Clark, and George T.M. Shackelford, Deputy Director at the Kimbell, the exhibition will be on view at the Clark in Williamstown, Massachusetts June 8–September 22, 2019 and at the Kimbell in Fort Worth, Texas October 27, 2019–January 26, 2020.

Renoir: The Body, The Senses includes some seventy paintings, drawings, pastels, and sculptures by the artist as well as works by his predecessors, contemporaries, and followers. An international roster of exceptional loans including 

Pierre Auguste Renoir (1841-1919)
The Boy with the Cat
Oil on canvas
H. 123; W. 66 cm
© RMN-Grand Palais (Musée d'Orsay) / René-Gabriel Ojéda

Boy with a Cat (1868, Musée d’Orsay);  

Study: Torso, Effect of Sun (c. 1876, Musée d’Orsay);

Seated Bather (c. 1883–1884, Fogg Museum, Harvard Art Museums);

File:Pierre Auguste Renoir - The Bathers - Google Art Project.jpg

 Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1841-1919)
The Bathers
Circa 1918-1919
Oil on canvas
H. 110; W. 160 cm
© RMN-Grand Palais (Musée d'Orsay) / Hervé Lewandowski

and The Bathers (1918–19, Musée d’Orsay),

as well as major contributions from the Clark’s renowned collection of the artist’s work:

The Ingenue

Pierre-Auguste Renoir
Oil on canvas, 55,7 x 46,4 cm
c. 1876
Massachusetts, Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute

 File:Madame Claude Monet by Pierre-Auguste Renoir.jpg

Madame Claude Monet Reading

Pierre-Auguste Renoir
Oil on canvas, 61,6 x 50,3 cm
c. 1872
Massachusetts, Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute



Pierre-Auguste Renoir
Oil on canvas, 39,1 x 31,6 cm
c. 1875
Massachusetts, Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute

Jaques Fray

Pierre-Auguste Renoir
Oil on canvas, 42,2 x 33,8 cm
Massachusetts, Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute

survey the breadth of Renoir’s career.

Renoir’s respect for tradition will be demonstrated by comparison with such paintings as


The Three Graces (Peter Paul Rubens, c. 1636, Dulwich Picture Gallery), 

Andromeda (Eugène Delacroix, 1852, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston),


and The Repose (Camille Corot, 1860, reworked c. 1865/70, National Gallery of Art).

His distinct approach to the subject of bathers will be underscored in a comparison of works such as


his Bathers Playing with a Crab (c. 1897, Cleveland Art Museum)

and The Bathers (Edgar Degas, c. 1895, Art Institute of Chicago).

Renoir’s profound influence on future generations will be seen in Pablo Picasso’s Nude Combing Her Hair (1906, Kimbell Art Museum), among others.

“Our exhibition will survey Renoir’s long career through the lens of the single subject that defines his legacy,” said Bell. “It’s the subject that most compellingly demonstrates how truly radical—and so often brilliant—he was.”

The exhibition investigates a number of themes central to today’s consideration of Renoir’s art, chief among them his engagement with the long tradition of the female nude as depicted in antique sculpture, in painting since the Renaissance, and as espoused, in his time, by the École des Beaux-Arts. Further themes include the concept of the female body and the male gaze in the nineteenth century; Impressionist figure painting and the effects of light on flesh; Renoir’s talent as a draftsman; the relationship between Renoir’s treatment of the body and that of such contemporaries as Gustave Courbet, Edgar Degas, and Paul Cézanne; and his late—still much debated—paintings and sculpture, works that inspired the next generation of modern artists.

“One hundred years after his death, Renoir still courts controversy,” said Shackelford. “We expect today’s audiences will be both inspired and challenged by the magnificent images of the nude that we’re bringing together in Renoir: The Body, The Senses—and we’re looking forward to a lively discussion.”

The artist’s critical reception—then and now—is explored in the exhibition and in the accompanying catalogue. During his lifetime, Renoir was idolized by artists including Pablo Picasso, Pierre Bonnard, and Henri Matisse, as well as renowned collectors Gertrude and Leo Stein, Josse and Gaston Bernheim-Jeune, Albert Barnes, and Sterling and Francine Clark. But he also experienced brutal criticism. In 1876, critic Albert Wolff wrote in Le Figaro, “Would someone kindly explain to M. Renoir that a woman’s torso is not a mass of decomposing flesh with the green and purplish blotches that indicate a state of complete putrefaction in a corpse...”—referring to Study: Torso, Effect of Sun, now regarded as one of the high points of Impressionism. Today, Renoir remains a polarizing figure worthy of scholarly investigation, unabashed contemplation, and reconsideration by contemporary audiences.

In an interview conducted for the exhibition catalogue, contemporary artist Lisa Yuskavage, whose work prominently features the female nude, discusses why Renoir endures as an artist worthy of continued examination. “…Renoir doesn’t impress everyone. And yet he persists. I really do think that the serious conundrum is why. I think that is a worthwhile thing to try to understand. What is it that makes his work persist? It’s not just because a lot of people like it. I think the answer really lies in understanding who has loved it.”


The companion catalogue (Yale University Press) also features essays from leading scholars of nineteenth-century painting, such as Colin B. Bailey, Director of the Morgan Library & Museum; Esther Bell; George T.M. Shackelford; Nicole Myers, the Lillian and James H. Clark Curator of Painting and Sculpture at the Dallas Museum of Art; Martha Lucy, Deputy Director of Research, Interpretation and Education at the Barnes Foundation; and Sylvie Patry, Deputy Director of the Musée d’Orsay. Yuskavage’s reflections on Renoir are included in a lively discussion with Alison de Lima Greene, the Isabel Brown Wilson Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, exploring the depiction of the body in relation to twenty-first-century feminist dialogue.

Surrealism in Mexico

Di Donna, 744 Madison Avenue, NYC
April 26 – June 28, 2019

Di Donna Galleries announces Surrealism in Mexico, an exhibition that explores the robust creative moment that emerged between 1940 and 1955 as an international community of artists fled World War II in Europe and settled in Mexico. There, many principles that had defined the Surrealist movement were broadened and transformed in response to a new topography, new cultures, and the experience of exile, toward the creation of radically innovative new styles. This vibrant art-historical episode was made possible through liberal ideas about collaboration, immigration, and gender roles. It is particularly relevant in the context of today’s cultural and political climate, where such issues remain under intense scrutiny and debate.

Surrealism in Mexico is unprecedented in the United States for its subject and its scope. The exhibition will feature paintings, sculptures, drawings, photographs, and collages by artists including Lola Álvarez Bravo, Leonora Carrington, Esteban Francés, Gunther Gerzso, Kati Horna, Frida Kahlo, Agustín Lazo, Matta, Gordon Onslow Ford, Wolfgang Paalen, Alice Rahon, Bridget Bate Tichenor, and Remedios Varo, with loans from distinguished private collections, corporate collections, and non-profit foundations in Mexico, the United States, and Europe.

A fully illustrated catalogue with scholarly essays by Mexico City-based curator Tere Arcq and Dr. Salomon Grimberg will be published to accompany the exhibition.

In 1938, André Breton and his wife, the artist Jacqueline Lamba, traveled to Mexico, where they were hosted by Kahlo and Diego Rivera. Breton championed Kahlo’s work, while Kahlo’s home and studio became a nexus for intellectual and creative dialogue. Moreover, Kahlo’s unapologetic expressions of her own physical and psychological conditions validated women’s experiences as a subject for artists such as Carrington and Varo.

Frida Kahlo. Me and My Parrots. 1941. Oil on canvas. Private Collection. © 2019 Banco de México Diego Rivera Frida Kahlo Museums Trust, Mexico, D.F. / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. 

Di Donna Galleries is pleased to present four paintings by Kahlo in this exhibition, including her famous painting  

La Venadita (The Little Deer) (1946) and her commanding self-portrait Me and My Parrots (1941).

Carrington, Tichenor, and Varo typically worked in illustrative styles, fusing autobiography, cosmic and ancient myths, and poetic aspects of the natural landscape in developing their own unique forms of magic realism. While the thematic sources of Carrington’s work, which included alchemy, Gnosticism, shamanism, and other esoteric subjects predated her arrival in Mexico, it was there where Carrington, away from a stifling upbringing and the horrors of war, discovered the freedom to cultivate a deeply personal and codified visual language.

Works such as the exquisitely rendered

Leonora Carrington, Les Distractions de Dagobert, 1945

Les Distractions de Dagobert (1945) reveal Carrington’s remarkable ability to evoke mysterious and intimate rituals. Varo similarly found creative liberation in Mexico. Her paintings often contain figures on expedition or conducting ritualistic acts among the cosmos, as in  

Papilla estelar (Celestial Pablum) (1958).

Paalen, Matta, Francés, and Onslow Ford developed new types of abstraction in response to local history and geology.

Paalen developed an alternative theory to Breton’s brand of Surrealism, followed by a series based on totemic figures seen in grand canvases such as Tropical Night (1948), that indicate the influence of both quantum physics and pre-Columbian objects accessible to him at the time.

In 1941, Matta began a new series of works inspired by the country’s landscape and the psychological anxiety of wartime, sensitively alluded to in Centro del agua (Center of Water) (1941), which Matta painted while visiting Paalen.

Onslow Ford’s ambitious painting The Luminous Land (1943), which will be shown in New York for the first time, is an abstracted interpretation of the lake and mountain setting of his home in the remote town of Erongarícuaro, centered around an erupting volcano. In Mexico, Onslow Ford admitted that his growing attachment to nature and its impact on his psyche led him away from Surrealism.

For artists in this exhibition who had been part of the Surrealist circle in Europe, the practice of living and making art in Mexico quickly demythified notions of the country that had been constructed across the Atlantic. The fertile art-historical moment addressed by Surrealism in Mexico comprises pictorial innovations involving both figuration and abstraction, united by investigations into the physical and unseen worlds, as artists adapted conventional Surrealist strategies to the new experience of being in Mexico. This remarkable period of expansion, in both aesthetic and conceptual terms, resulted in work that would come to define major episodes in these artists’ careers, and transform notions of Surrealism beyond Europe’s borders.

More images 

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

The essential Duchamp

Art Gallery of New South Wales
 On view until 11 Aug 2019

'The essential Duchamp' celebrates the legendary work of artist and provocateur Marcel Duchamp

Marcel Duchamp Bicycle wheel 1964 (replica of 1913 original) Philadelphia Museum of Art; Fountain 1950 (replica of 1917 original) Philadelphia Museum of Art; Hat rack 1964 (replica of 1917 original) National Gallery of Australia, Canberra; Bottlerack 1961 (replica of 1914 original) Philadelphia Museum of Art, © Association Marcel Duchamp/ADAGP. Copyright Agency, 2018

More than a century after Marcel Duchamp’s (1887–1968) readymade Fountain was rejected from display in New York and over five decades since the last significant exhibition of his work came to Australia, the Art Gallery of New South Wales presents The essential Duchamp. This must-see exhibition from the Philadelphia Museum of Art also marks the 50 year anniversary of the artist’s death.

The essential Duchamp is the most comprehensive survey of the art and life of Duchamp ever to be seen in the Asia Pacific region, bringing together over 125 works from the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s world-renowned collection. The travelling exhibition began in 2018 and concludes its tour at the Art Gallery of NSW in Sydney, following on from the Tokyo National Museum, Japan and the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Seoul, Korea.

Dr Michael Brand, director of the Art Gallery of NSW, said The essential Duchamp features work spanning the artist’s six-decade career, exploring Duchamp’s formative years alongside iconic works and key documentary materials.

“Tracking the achievements of Marcel Duchamp is to map some of the most seismic shifts in 20th century art history. The essential Duchamp reveals the life and work of an artist whose provocative and unorthodox approach dramatically expanded the possibilities for making art.

“Duchamp began building his reputation as a major disruptor of the art world when he exhibited Nude Descending a Staircase (No.2) 1912 at the 1913 Armory Show in New York. Yet, even as this magnificent and innovative take on Cubism established his name, Duchamp’s relentless efforts to challenge conventions saw him abandon painting and embark into uncharted artistic territory including the legendary readymades and the development of Rrose Sélavy, his female alter ego,” Brand said.

“The Philadelphia Museum of Art holds the world’s largest and most significant collection of Duchamp’s work together with an incomparable library and archival holdings relating to the artist, making The essential Duchamp a rare opportunity to experience his work in depth,” Brand added.
Timothy Rub, George D. Widener director and CEO of the Philadelphia Museum of Art said the Museum is proud to partner with the Art Gallery of NSW for a second time to bring another ambitious and innovative exhibition to Sydney, following the success of America: painting a nation in 2013.

“The gift of the Louise and Walter Arensberg collection in 1950, with its great concentration of works by Duchamp, was a landmark event in the history of the Philadelphia Museum of Art establishing it as a world renowned destination for modern art. We are delighted to share it with new audiences in the Asia-Pacific region.

“Duchamp’s reputation has never stood higher than it does at present among artists working around the world. Fifty years after his death the passage of time has seemed only to clarify and to strengthen the argument that his work represents an inflection point in the history of art, the significance of which has not been fully appreciated,” Rub said.

Dr Matthew Affron, exhibition curator and Muriel and Philip Berman curator of modern art at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, said The essential Duchamp tells the story of Duchamp’s making and unmaking as a painter, revealing an influence that continues to resonate.

“Duchamp’s legend has proliferated internationally. His impact is seen today in artists’ engagement with multiples and facsimiles, in critical reflection on the display of art in galleries and museums, and in work that deals with commodity culture or explores the connections between gender, sexuality, and art.

“Duchamp wanted to exclude his personal taste and the technical skill of his hand from his work in order to make ideas paramount and bring forward the intellectual value in art. The essential Duchamp explores his insistent pursuit of independence and freedom in both art and life,” Affron said.
Nicholas Chambers, exhibition coordinating curator and senior curator of modern and contemporary international art at the Art Gallery of NSW, said the exhibition is unprecedented in Australia due to the depth and breadth of the representation of Duchamp’s career.

“From his early paintings as a teenager to his portable museums of miniatures late in life, and including important works that have not before been seen in the Asia Pacific region such as Portrait of Dr. Dumouchel 1910, Sonata 1911, and Chocolate Grinder (No. 2) 1914, this exhibition offers rare insights into the development of both Duchamp’s art and his enigmatic persona,” said Chambers.

The essential Duchamp is accompanied by a richly illustrated publication which tells the artist’s story through four key periods. Written by exhibition curator Matthew Affron with additional contributors: Cécile Debray, director at the Musée de l’Orangerie, Paris; Alexander Kauffman, Andrew W. Mellon–Anne d’Harnoncourt Postdoctoral Curatorial Fellow, Philadelphia Museum of Art; Michael R. Taylor, chief curator and deputy director for art and education, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond and John Vick, collections project manager, Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Marcel Duchamp 'Portrait of the artist's father' 1910 Philadelphia Museum of Art, Louise and Walter Arensberg Collection, 1950-134-49 © Association Marcel Duchamp/ADAGP. Copyright Agency, 2019.

The Essential Duchamp, organized by the Philadelphia Museum of Art, will present a rich and engaging account of the life and work of one of the most original and influential artists of the twentieth century, Marcel Duchamp (1887–1968).
Marcel Duchamp profoundly changed the way in which we think about the creation and interpretation of art. He earned his celebrity a century ago when his painting Nude Descending a Staircase (No. 2) (1912) was exhibited at the groundbreaking Armory Show in New York, where it sparked reactions ranging from admiration to outrage. Twenty-five years later, Duchamp observed to an interviewer that the painting and its scandal had in some ways overtaken his story, leaving him "only a shadowy figure behind the reality of that painting." Our understanding of his complaint must be tempered, however, by the knowledge that Duchamp preferred to glide in relative silence through the world of the avant-garde. An aura of mystery was fundamental to his persona.
Organized by Matthew Affron, the Muriel and Philip Berman Curator of Modern Art at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the exhibition will consist of approximately one hundred and forty works of art and important archival and documentary items, nearly all drawn from the Museum's collection. It will be arranged as a survey of Duchamp's more than sixty years of activity as an artist. Threaded throughout the exhibition and central to its narrative structure will be the story of Duchamp's life in France and the United States. The exhibition will be divided into four sections.
The Essential Duchamp was organized by the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

  1. A Painter’s Life

Duchamp took up painting as an adolescent in the summer of 1902, and for the next eight years he drifted among various idioms of innovative art: Impressionism, Symbolism, and Fauvism. This modernist apprenticeship led to a brief but extremely original engagement with Cubism and the production of numerous important works including Nude Descending a Staircase (No. 2) (1912), the composition that had a scandal at the Armory Show in New York and made its author an art celebrity in the United States. But in the autumn of 1912, the twenty-five-year-old Duchamp to a momentous decision: he resolved to abandon the painter's craft and seek new ways of working.
The first chapter in the life and the work of Marcel Duchamp is the story of his making and unmaking as a painter.

Nude Descending a Staircase (No. 2)
Marcel Duchamp
Philadelphia Museum of Art.
The Louise and Walter Arensberg Collection, 1950

  2. "Can Works be Made Which are Not ‘Of art’?"

Starting in 1912 Duchamp worked toward the execution of his magnum opus, The Bride Stripped Bare by Her Bachelors, Even (1915-23), a picture on glass that overturned the ground rules of painting as conventionally understood. In 1913, the first of his so-called readymades came into being. Readymades, functional objects deprived of their utilitarian identity, blurred the line between fine art and mass production and challenged commonsense notions about the priority of the artist's hand and the difference between original and copies in art.
In 1915, Duchamp emigrated to New York City. It was there, in 1917, that a notorious object entitled Fountain triggered the first public discussion of the idea of the readymade.

The Philadelphia Museum of Art holds 6 readymades out of 12 crated by Duchamp. From the collection, this exhibition will present Bicycle Wheel, Bottle rack, and Fountain.

*The Bride Stripped Bare by Her Bachelors, Even ("The Large Glass")
*The exhibition will show the 1980 replica (Komaba Museum, The Universty of Tokyo) of the 1915–1923 original
This famous work was left unfinished after Duchamp worked on it from 1915 to 1923. The glass was accidentally shattered after the work’s first public display at the Brooklyn Museum in 1926. Duchamp repaired The Large Glass and accepted the cracks as part of the work.

  3. Rrose Sélavy

Duchamp spent the better part of the interwar period based in Paris. Having already abandoned the activity of painting, he now shifted his professional energies to playing chess. But he also invented an artistic female persona named Rrose Sélavy, and used this assumed identity to pursue new activities in the art world. Duchamp pursued experiments in word-play (puns and verbal games) and also made unconventional art works based upon his long study of the principles of perspective and optics. These concerns dovetailed in "Anemic Cinema", the short avantgarde film he produced in 1926 with the assistance of his frequent accomplice, the photographer Man Ray. Meanwhile, by the mid-1930s, Duchamp had become more and more interested in an outgrowth of the readymade idea, namely the notion of producing and marketing replicas in limited editions of his earlier and more recent works. This idea led to the painstaking fabrication of a portable museum of miniature replicas, (From or by Marcel Duchamp or Rrose Sélavy Box in a Valise) (1935–41). Throughout the interwar period, and then once again as a wartime emigre in New York, Duchamp also worked as a fellow traveler of the international Surrealist group (Duchamp became an American citizen in 1955).

  4. Our Lady of Desire

In the final two decades of his life, Duchamp achieved legendary status, first among artists and art-world insiders and then in the broader culture. During this same period, he went almost totally underground as an artist. Working in near-total secret within his New York studio, he created his final masterpiece, Étant donnés (1946–66). This room-sized, three-dimensional construction built around a life-case mannequin of a female nude offered a final reflection on themes that had preoccupied Duchamp across his career: the nature of the erotic, the artistic implications of modern engineering, science, and mathematics, the aesthetics of realism and the psychology of vision. In 1969, after the artist's death, Étant donnés was placed in proximity to its epic predecessor The Large Glass, which some years before had joined the principal collection of Duchamp's art at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. It was only once Étant donnés was revealed to the world that the unifying logic of the rest of his late production, which was related to it, became apparent.

Duchamp Sitting by a Replica of Fountain

Duchamp Sitting by a Replica of
Photographer unknown
Gelatin silver print; 1965
Philadelphia Museum of Art, Library and Archives: Gift of Jacqueline,Paul and Peter Matisse in memory of their mother Alexina Duchamp

Teeny Duchamp beside the Doors for Etant donnés in or near La Bisbal d' Empordà
Photographer unknown
Gelatin silver plate; Early 1960s
Philadelphia Museum of Art. Gift of Jacqueline, Paul and Peter Matisse in memory of their mother Alexina Duchamp

A Passion for American Art: Selections from the Carolyn and Peter Lynch Collection

Peabody Essex Museum 
May 11 through December 1, 2019
The Peabody Essex Museum (PEM) presents the debut exhibition of an outstanding collection of American painting, furniture, and decorative arts that was assembled by philanthropists, Carolyn and Peter Lynch, over the course of fifty years. A Passion for American Art: Selections from the Carolyn and Peter Lynch Collection takes visitors on the personal collecting journey of a couple that shared an extraordinary life together.

Through travel, exploration, and intellectual curiosity, the Lynches amassed a broad-ranging collection that includes spectacular, classic furniture from Boston, New York, and Philadelphia; paintings by Childe Hassam, Martin Johnson Heade, Winslow Homer, and John Singer Sargent; works by modern furniture master Sam Maloof; and pottery by Otto and Gertrud Natzler.

Also featured are three significant works by Georgia O’Keeffe, Childe Hassam, and J.O.J. Frost that were recently donated to PEM by Peter Lynch in memory of his late wife, Carolyn Lynch. By embracing an organic approach to collecting and by freely integrating multiple subjects, time frames and media, the Lynches created lively conversations about artistic creativity, regional styles, and evolving traditions in America. A Passion for American Art is on view at PEM from May 11 through December 1, 2019.

This jewel-box exhibition celebrates the couple’s abiding love of nature and of American history through 120 works of decorative art, 36 pieces of furniture, 35 paintings and sculptures, and 10 Native American artworks. The majority of the works are pristine examples of American creativity from the 18th and 19th centuries – an era when many artists echoed the latest styles and forms from Europe while also striving to express new American ideals, beliefs, and regional tastes.


Passion for American Art : Selections from the Carolyn and Peter Lynch Collection - (Hardcover)

Published by the Peabody Essex Museum, the major 224-page publication, A Passion for American Art: Selections from the Carolyn and Peter Lynch Collection, celebrates the outstanding examples of American painting, furniture, decorative arts, and Native American art from the Carolyn and Peter Lynch collection. This luxuriously illustrated book traces the couple’s growth as collectors, their cultural and aesthetic affinities and their relationships with artists and fellow collectors. Writer Jeanne Schinto offers a profile of the Lynches and a view into how the collection expresses the couple’s distinctly American sensibility. PEM’s Carolyn and Peter Lynch Curator of American Decorative Art, Dean Lahikainen, shares an introduction to the collection and a series of short essays by PEM curators explore how the Lynches combined diverse works in the living spaces of their homes. The exhibition catalog will be available this spring at


"This exhibition allows us to marvel not only at the range of American traditions and creativity but also appreciate how collecting can amplify a sense of place and express aesthetic and intellectual values,” says Lahikainen.


Best known for heading Fidelity’s Magellan Fund, the best performing mutual fund in the world, Peter Lynch is also a major philanthropist. Together, the couple established the Lynch Foundation in 1988 to support nonprofit organizations in the greater Boston community. For many years, Carolyn served as a PEM Trustee and Overseer and helped found the museum’s American Decorative Arts Committee. In 2014, the Lynch Foundation generously created an endowment for the PEM’s robust changing exhibition program.

A Passion for American Art features three works given to PEM’s American art collection by Peter Lynch in memory of his late wife. These include Marblehead folk artist J.O.J. Frost, American Impressionist painter Childe Hassam, and American master Georgia O’Keeffe. PEM has presented solo exhibitions in recent years of both Hassam’s and O’Keeffe’s works.


Frost’s 1925 panoramic masterwork, an oil on fireboard painting, called The March into Boston from Marblehead, April 16, 1861: There Shall Be No More War, is of exceptional quality and scale. The local and national histories referenced in the painting, coupled with the highly-detailed, large-scale panoramic narrative scene, has broad appeal. The painting is poignantly autobiographical, capturing Frost’s childhood memory of watching his father alongside other Marblehead men depart on foot to Faneuil Hall in Boston to enlist in the Civil War.


A key loan in PEM’s 2016 exhibition, American Impressionist: Childe Hassam and the Isles of Shoals, Hassam’s 1911 painting East Headland, Appledore, Isles of Shoals is a masterpiece within Hassam’s Appledore oeuvre. East Headland is the first major American impressionist picture, and the first Hassam, to enter PEM’s collection. The work also holds special significance to the Lynch family as Peter took Carolyn to Appledore as a birthday surprise to see the island and the site depicted in this painting.

Georgia O’Keeffe, Cedar and Red Maple, Lake George, 1921. Oil on canvas. Peabody Essex Museum, Gift of Peter S. Lynch in memory of Carolyn A. Lynch. © Peabody Essex Museum. Photography by Bob Packert.
 In Cedar and Red Maple, Lake George, 1921, O’Keeffe’s treatment of natural forms and unconventional contours resulted in a modernist painting that abstracts, combines, and layers the landscape in ways that – at the time – were unprecedented in American art. The small but vivid canvas is characteristic of her aesthetic responses to the Lake George landscape. This gift dramatically bolsters PEM’s expanding and diversifying collection of works by women and by modern artists.


Martin Johnson Heade, Orchid and Hummingbirds near a Mountain Lake, about 1875-90. Oil on canvas. Collection of Carolyn A. and Peter S. Lynch. Photography by Bob Packert/Peabody Essex Museum.