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Museum Director Marcelle Giving a Press Preview

Impressionism: Masterworks on Paper now open

Posted on September 28th, 2011

Milwaukee Art Museum Premieres Groundbreaking Impressionism Exhibition

Milwaukee, Wis. – Closing out the year-long anniversary celebration of the Santiago Calatrava-designed Quadracci Pavilion, Impressionism: Masterworks on Paper premieres at the Milwaukee Art Museum on Friday, October 14. Organized by the Museum in partnership with the Albertina in Vienna, the exhibition presents more than one hundred drawings, watercolors, and pastels by the Impressionists and Post-Impressionists.

Some of the greatest artists in the history of Western European art, including Manet, Degas, Renoir, Pissarro, Seurat, Gauguin, Cezanne, Van Gogh, and Toulouse-Lautrec, created works on paper that may be less well-known than their paintings, but which are just as significant. Active in France during the second half of the nineteenth century, these artists wanted, contrary to the entrenched teachings of the Academy of Fine Arts, an art that reflected the experiences of modern times.

“This is a scholarly exhibition devoted almost exclusively to works on paper and will considerably extend our current knowledge of Impressionism and Post-Impressionism,” said Laurie Winters, director of exhibitions at the Milwaukee Art Museum. “Masterworks on Paper will show that the Impressionists and Post-Impressionists chose to emphasize drawing, thereby ceasing to recognize the traditional distinction between drawing and painting. They elevated the status of drawing to the level of painting itself.”

It is not widely known that a large proportion of the artwork shown in the eight Impressionist exhibitions held in Paris between 1874 and 1886 were works on paper. Many of these have been identified and will be shown in Masterworks on Paper.

“Overall, the exhibition will provide an overview of the artists’ drawing skills at this critical stage in the development of French art—and, in turn, modern art.  The various styles and techniques the Impressionists and Post-Impressionists used will be represented, shedding light on how these artists made inroads for the Abstract Expressionists, among others,” said Winters.

The exhibition will also include a limited number of paintings, including Renoir’s Bathers with Crab, which is on loan to the Museum from the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh. The painting was part of a Super Bowl XLV wager between the museums. The Green Bay Packers defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers 31-25.

Impressionism: Masterworks on Paper is organized by the Milwaukee Art Museum in partnership with the Albertina in Vienna. The exhibition was co-curated in Milwaukee by Christopher Lloyd, guest curator, and Laurie Winters, director of exhibitions at the Museum. It runs Friday, October 14, 2011, through Sunday, January 8, 2012.

Presented by The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, and Chase, with additional support from Einhorn Family Foundation, Nancy and Arthur Laskin, Myron Laskin, Jr., Kenneth R. Treis, Quarles & Brady LLP, Fine Arts Society in memory of Jane Doud, and The Marcus Corporation.

12-Hour Member Preview Celebration
Thurs, Oct. 13, 10 a.m.–10 p.m.
Lectures: 1:30 p.m. and 6:15 p.m.

Exhibition Lecture with guest curator Christopher Lloyd, Former Surveyor of the Queen’s Pictures
Fri, Oct. 14, 1:30 p.m.
Lubar Auditorium

Lecture: Renoir’s Bathers
Thurs, Oct. 27, 6:15 p.m.

Lecture: Drawings for Edgar Degas’ “Little Dancer”
Sun, Nov. 6, 1:30 p.m.

Gallery Talks with the Curator
Tues, Oct. 15, 1:30 p.m.
Tues, Nov. 15, 1:30 p.m.

Express Talks
Thurs, Oct. 20–Nov. 17, Noon
Thurs, Nov. 3, 5:30 p.m.

Gallery Talk in French
Sat, Nov. 12, 1:30 p.m.

Book Salon
The Judgment of Paris: The Revolutionary Decade That Gave the World Impressionism by Ross King
Sat, Nov. 19, 10:30 a.m.
RSVP to Amy Kirschke at 414-224-3826 or amy.kirschke@mam.org

MAM After Dark | Impress Me
Fri, Nov. 18, 5 p.m.–midnight
Details and advance admission at www.mam.org/afterdark.

Kohl’s Art Generation Family Sundays | The Gift of Art
Sun, Dec. 4, 10 a.m.–4 p.m.

Impressionism: Pastels, Watercolors, Drawings
By Christopher Lloyd

The Museum is open Tuesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Thursdays until 8 p.m. Admission is $15 for adults and $12 for students, seniors and active military, and is free for Members and children age 12 and under.

The first Thursday of each month is Target Free First Thursday and admission is free for individuals (does not apply to groups).

The Milwaukee Art Museum’s far-reaching holdings include more than 25,000 works spanning antiquity to the present day. With a history dating back to 1888, the Museum houses a collection with strengths in 19th- and 20th-century American and European art, contemporary art, American decorative arts, and folk and self-taught art. The Museum includes the Santiago Calatrava-designed Quadracci Pavilion, named by Time magazine as “Best Design of 2001.” For more information, please visit www.mam.org.