Tacoma Art Museum will present Monet, Renoir, Degas, and Their Circle: French Impressionism and the Northwest, a new exhibition opening on September 28, 2019, that examines how the work of French Impressionists and their immediate precursors made their way into Northwest public and private collections. It also includes selected paintings by American and Northwest artists in the Impressionist style.
What makes a painting Impressionist?
Generally speaking, the Impressionists painted landscapes, portraits, or scenes from modern life rather than historical, religious, or mythological subjects. They painted with long and wide brushstrokes, placing complementary colors (such as red and green) beside each other in order to accentuate both colors, thus creating a sense of movement. The Impressionists played with composition, often including only sections of an object or body part.
One morning, one of us ran out of black; it was the birth of impressionism.Pierre-Auguste Renoir
The exhibition includes approximately 50 Impressionist works of art and includes signature works by Gustave Caillebotte, Mary Cassatt, Edgar Degas, Claude Monet, Berthe Morisot, Camille Pissarro, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, and Alfred Sisley among others. Filling out the story, paintings from some of the most important precursors of Impressionism such as Eugène Boudin, Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot, Gustave Courbet, and Johan Barthold Jongkind are included. The exhibition includes rarely seen works from TAM’s European art collection along with loaned works from museums and private collections in the Northwest.
“The purpose of this exhibition is deeply connected to the same passion that drove the French Impressionists, to transform the way we see,” said David F. Setford, TAM’s Executive Director and curator of this exhibition. “It will provide a lasting resource about French Impressionism and its historical impact for curators and collectors in our region and beyond.”
Accompanying the exhibition is a small publication of the works on display and an online listing of French Impressionist works currently known to be in Northwest public collections, along with educational programming that includes workshops, discussions, group tours, and student events.
At the press preview, Tony and I picked out our favorite pieces:
Mary Jo: On the Canal, painted in 1893 by Theodore Robinson (American, 1852-96). I think this one resonated with me because of our recent barge cruise in the canals of the French Countryside.
Tony: Heads of Two Young Girls, painted in 1890 by Pierre-August Renoir (French, 1841-1919). He said it resonated with him as an example of how the brushstrokes and complementary colors bring movement to the subject matter – what are those girls talking about?
The exhibition includes artwork from the following Pacific Northwest museums: Frye Art Museum, Henry Art Gallery, Portland Art Museum, Tacoma Art Museum, and Seattle Art Museum. These works are complemented by selected loans from some of the major private collections in the Northwest.
Monet, Renoir, Degas, and Their Circle: French Impressionism and the Northwest will run from September 28, 2019 – January 5th, 2020.
October is Tacoma Arts Month and Tacoma Art Museum will be hosting programs, exhibitions, and events to encourage visitors to check out the museum. Special activities are planned for families and teens. October 22nd, 2019 is “pay what you can” admission.
The Tacoma Art Museum is located at 1701 Pacific Avenue, Tacoma, Washington. Hours are Tuesday-Sunday, 10 am-5 pm.
Admission is $18 for adults; $15 for students and seniors (65+); and $40 for families (two adults and up to four children ages 6-18). Children 5 and under, active duty military, reservists, veterans, and their families are free. Children 18 and under are free every Saturday. Neighborhood Nights, held every Thursday, 5-8 pm, are also free.
Photo credits: Courtesy of Tacoma Art Museum; used with permission.