The Age of Impressionism: Great French Paintings from the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute has made its way to the Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth.
The Kimbell Art Museum is the first to present the international touring of the Age of Impressionism exhibit, which includes French Impressionist paintings featured at the Sterling and Clark Institute in Williamstown, Massachusetts. The paintings are from the 19th century, which was considered the age of impressionism.
According to the Kimbell Art Museum website, the exhibit includes more than 73 paintings, featuring Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Edgar Degas, Claude Monet and more.
Dr. Carl Smeller, associate professor of English and humanities, said he has had the opportunity to visit the exhibit at the Kimbell Art Museum.
“I was a little nonplussed because I’ve actually never been all that big a fan of the main figures of Impressionism, such as Monet, Renoir, Degas, etc.,” Smeller said. “But in reviewing the exhibition in my mind, I did remember a couple of paintings that I was struck by, although neither one is a paradigmatic example of what most people have in mind when they think of Impressionism.”
Smeller said the two paintings that caught his eye were The Snake Charmer by Jean-Leon Gerome and The Young Christian Girl by Paul Gaugin.
“The Snake Charmer by Jean-Leon Gerome, who is an artist that I did not know much about before seeing this exhibit. Unlike a couple of Gerome’s other canvasses in this exhibit, this one is not really in an Impressionist style,” Smeller said. “What really attracted me to it is the way he represents Turkish tile work on the wall of the room in the painting, apparently modeled on tiles in the Topkapi Palace in Istanbul.”
Smeller said he visited the Topkapi Palace on a study abroad trip last May, and this painting brought him back to that experience. Smeller has also taken a couple of his humanities classes to see the exhibit in person.
Sonya Cisneros Curry, public relations and marketing coordinator for the Kimbell, said the exhibit is touring for three years. It started in 2011 and will run through 2014. The exhibit will appear at venues such as Italy, France, Spain, the United Kingdom, Canada, Japan and China.
Curry said the Kimbell Art Museum is the only venue in the United States of the international touring of the exhibit.
Curry said after the exhibition closes on June 17, 2012, it will travel to the Royal Academy of Arts in London.
“We received a fantastic response on opening day. Many families also enjoyed visiting the exhibition during the Museum’s annual Free Spring Break Art Extravaganza,” Curry said. “We look forward to welcoming many more visitors from all across the U.S. to this beautiful exhibition.”
Curry said the collection was also visited and complemented by Clark Griffith, the Cliburn’s 2011 International Amateur Piano Competition second-place winner; the Lone Star Wind Orchestra Trio and many more.
George Shackelford, deputy director of the Kimbell Art Museum, said he is drawn to the work of Renoir in the exhibit.
“If I were offered a painting to keep for the Kimbell, it’d be a very tough choice. I think, in the end, I’d vote for Renoir’s Sleeping Girl —it’s surely one of his masterpieces, and a painting that looks so good in our galleries that it could have been painted just for us. Plus it’s got one of the greatest cats in the history of art,” Shackelford said.
The Kimbell Art Museum is also continuing to move forward with upcoming events. The next exhibition will be in honor of the art museum’s 40th anniversary, named The Kimbell at 40: An Evolving Masterpiece.
“It looks back to the Museum’s genesis and showcases the architectural achievements, pivotal acquisitions, important exhibitions and historic events that have made it into the world-renowned institution it is today,” Curry said.
The exhibit will be featured Oct. 7-Dec. 30. For more information on the exhibits at the Kimbell Art Museum visit www.kimbellart.org/Exhibitions/.
Rolandra West
rdwest@txwes.edu

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