Two exhibitions devoted to the development of Impressionism and Realism by some of history’s most notable artists will open Thursday, Sept. 6, at the Montana Museum of Art & Culture at The University of Montana. The exhibitions, “Labor & Leisure: Impressionist and Realist Masterpieces from a Private Collection” and “Impressionism: Masterpieces on Paper” will be on view through Jan. 5, 2013.
An opening reception for both exhibitions will take place from 5-7 p.m. in UM’s Performing Arts and Radio/Television Center lobby. Food, beverages and music will be provided. The event is free and open to the public, with a suggested donation of $5.
“Labor & Leisure: Impressionist and Realist Masterpieces from a Private Collection” brings together select Impressionist and Realist masterpieces that document radical changes to 19th century society and culture. Included are important 19th- and early 20th-century artists Claude Monet, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, William Adolphe Bouguereau, John William Waterhouse, Jules Breton, Pierre Eugene Montezin, Léon August Lhermitte, Stanhope Alexander Forbes, Eugène Boudin, Edouard Bisson, John William Godward and Sir Alfred James Munnings. Some of these works have not been seen publicly for decades.
“The Impressionists are among the most widely known and loved artworks ever,” said Barbara Koostra, director of MMAC. “This is an incredible opportunity for the people of Montana to experience world-class art.”
During the Industrial Revolution, technology and transportation advanced, rural populations declined, urban centers flourished, occupational opportunities expanded, wages increased and labor laws were established. Using masterpieces from a private collection, this exhibition explores themes of industry and agriculture, city and country, and labor and leisure.
“Impressionism: Masterpieces on Paper” combines selections from the MMAC Permanent Collection with select loans to highlight rare etchings and lithographs that illustrate the development of Impressionism. Barbizon masterpieces by Félix Henri Bracquemond, Jean-François Millet and Charles-François Daubigny are combined with the satirical lithographs of Honoré Daumier and rare Impressionist prints from Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Berthe Morisot, Edgar Degas, Jean Louis Forain, Gustave Leheutre and Jean-Baptiste Armand Guillaumin.
Several lectures are scheduled throughout the exhibitions, including:
- UM professor of art history and criticism H. Rafael Chacón will present a lecture titled “Tensions Between City and Country in Art of the Belle Époque” at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 26, in the PAR/TV Center Montana Theatre.
- MMAC Curator of Art Brandon Reintjes will present a lecture titled “The 19th Century French Realism of Jean-François Millet” at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 14, in the PAR/TV Center Masquer Theatre.
- Gloria Groom, the David and Mary Winton Green curator of 19th century European painting and sculpture at The Art Institute of Chicago and author of “The Age of French Impressionism,” will present a lecture titled “The School of Nature in French Art: Realism to Impressionism” as part of the President’s Lecture Series at 8 p.m. Monday, Dec. 3, in the George and Jane Dennison Theatre.
- In addition to lectures, guided tours will be available throughout the exhibitions.
MMAC’s hours are noon to 3 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday and noon to 6 p.m. Thursday and Friday. For more information or to see a schedule of guided tours, call 406-243-2019 or visit http://www.umt.edu/montanamuseum.
NOTE TO MEDIA: Digital images of select items included in the exhibitions are available upon request by calling 406-243-2019.