The Cincinnati Art Museum Showcases Claude Monet in Giverny
Cincinnati, Ohio.- The Cincinnati Art Museum is proud to present “Monet in Giverny: Landscapes of Reflection” on view through May 13th. Through twelve major paintings only on view at the museum, this exhibition will examine the range of Impressionist master Claude Monet’s work in Giverny, France. Claude Monet (1840-1926) retreated to Giverny, the small village northwest of Paris, in 1883, and then spent the next 43 years there experimenting with landscape and garden painting. The works of art he painted there are among the most recognizable in Western Art. Organized by the Cincinnati Art Museum, “Monet in Giverny: Landscapes of Reflection” takes you on an artistic journey, from early Impressionist-inspired landscapes of waterways outside Giverny to serial depictions of specific garden motifs, such as his famous water lilies, to the immersive environment of large-scale works such as the late wisterias.
Monet in Giverny: Landscapes of Reflection tells a chronological narrative of artistic self-discovery culminating with two oversize depictions of wisterias, paintings Monet originally conceived to hang above the enormous wall-sized cycles of painted water lilies of the artist’s last years. The two exhibited paintings—brought together for the first time since they were in Monet’s studio around 1920—combine to make up a garland of wisterias nearly twenty feet long. “Monet here combines sky and water to create a reflective, surrounding atmosphere that makes clear the debt owed by contemporary art to Monet and his immersive environments.” Leca explains the theme of reflection that plays out in this rare collection of paintings: “Monet thought about reflection in many ways and understood the multiple associations linked to the term. He himself tells us of his obsession with representing the many reflective effects of moving water; just as his deliberate experimentation in paint was a sort of reflection, a thinking through of his process”. Cincinnati Art Museum Director, Aaron Betsky, adds: “We are delighted to bring this exceptional grouping of Monet masterpieces to the Midwest and to illuminate these iconic works anew as part of our ongoing program of in-depth exhibitions treating some of the great chapters of European painting”. Monet in Giverny: Landscapes of Reflection is organized by the Cincinnati Art Museum and is supported by an indemnity from the Federal Council on the Arts and Humanities. The exhibition is curated by Benedict Leca, curator of European painting, sculpture and drawings at the Cincinnati Art Museum.
Located in scenic Eden Park, the Cincinnati Art Museum features an unparalleled art collection of more than 60,000 works spanning 6,000 years. In addition to displaying its own broad collection, the Art Museum also hosts several national and international traveling exhibitions each year. The art museum has paintings by several European Masters, including: Master of San Baudelio, Jorge Ingles, Sandro Botticelli (“Judith with Head of Holofernes”), Matteo di Giovanni, Mattia Preti, Strozzi, Frans Hals, Bartolomé Esteban Murillo (“St. Thomas of Villanueva”), Peter Paul Rubens (“Samson and Delilah”) and Aert Vander Neer. The collection also includes works by Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Camille Pissarro, Claude Monet (“Rocks At Belle Isle”) and Pablo Picasso. The museum also has a large collection of paintings by American painter Frank Duveneck (“Elizabeth B. Duveneck”). In the late nineteenth century, public art museums were still very much a new phenomenon, especially as far west as Cincinnati. Following the success of the 1876 Centennial Exhibition held in Philadelphia, the Women’s Art Museum Association was organized in Cincinnati with the intent of bringing such an institution to the region for the benefit of all citizens. Enthusiasm for these goals grew steadily and by 1881 the Cincinnati Museum Association was incorporated. Just five years later, in May 1886, a permanent art museum building was completed in Eden Park and was heralded worldwide as “The Art Palace of the West.” The Cincinnati Art Museum enjoyed the support of the community from the beginning. Generous donations from a number of prominent Cincinnatians grew the collection to number in the tens of thousands of objects, which soon necessitated the addition of the first of several Art Museum expansions. In 1907 the Schmidlapp Wing opened, which was followed by a series of building projects. The addition of the Emery, Hanna and French wings in the 1930s enclosed the courtyard and gave the Art Museum its current rectangular shape and provided the space in which our American, European and Asian collections are currently shown.
Renovations during the late 1940s and early 1950s divided the Great Hall into two floors and the present main entrance to the Art Museum was established. The 1965 completion of the Adams-Emery wing increased our facility resources yet further, adding space for the permanent collection, lecture halls and temporary exhibition galleries. In 1993, a $13 million project restored the grandeur of the Art Museum’s interior architecture and uncovered long-hidden architectural details. This project included the renovation of one of the Art Museum’s signature spaces, the Great Hall. In addition, new gallery space was created and lighting and climate control were improved. The Art Museum’s temporary exhibition space was expanded to approximately 10,000 square feet to accommodate major temporary exhibitions. By the turn of the twenty-first century, the Art Museum’s collection numbered over 60,000 objects and, today, is the largest in the state of Ohio. In 2003, the Cincinnati Art Museum deepened its ties with the Greater Cincinnati community by opening the popular and expansive Cincinnati Wing, the first permanent display of a city’s art history in the nation. In addition, on May 17, 2003, the Art Museum eliminated its general admission fee forever, made possible by The Lois and Richard Rosenthal Foundation. In 2006, the Art Museum marked its 125th anniversary with 125 days of programs and events for the community to celebrate. In addition, a Facilities Master Plan, approved by the Board of Trustees in February 2006, provided a plan for growth that will serve the Art Museum for the next two decades. Visit the museum’s website at … http://www.cincinnatiartmuseum.org
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