Impressionism Exhibition Recaptures the Radical Nature of the Movement
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania…Impressionism in a New Light: From Monet to Stieglitz, on view at Carnegie Museum of Art May 12–August 26, 2012, presents a robust picture of what Impressionism means in art, displaying paintings, drawings, prints, and pastels by major artists alongside works by many of the most famous Pictorialist photographers of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Championed by Alfred Stieglitz, Pictorialists emphasized photography as an act of “creating,” rather than recording an image, and were among the first to insist that photography join the ranks of the fine arts. In the complex artistic milieu of the period, across media, artists engaged in a visual dialogue with one another, finding similar optical expressions and manipulating light, composition, and subject matter on the canvas and in the darkroom. Impressionism in a New Light will recapture the radical nature of Impressionism in its many meanings and expressions by visually showcasing this dialogue in the exhibition, and with an impressive schedule of programs, including an opening night performance by the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, and a cabaret evening laced with bawdy performances, comedy sketches, artworks, and absinthe.
Organized by Amanda Zehnder, associate curator of fine arts, and Linda Benedict-Jones, curator of photography, Impressionism in a New Light focuses on works from Carnegie Museum of Art’s distinguished collection, augmented by loans from the Museum of Modern Art in New York, Philadelphia Museum of Art, The Frick in Pittsburgh, and private collectors. The paintings and works on paper represented include Mary Cassatt, Paul Cézanne, Edgar Degas, Paul Gauguin, Childe Hassam, Camille Pissarro, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Paul Signac, Alfred Sisley, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, John Twachtman, Georges-Pierre Seurat, and Claude Monet.
Works by photographers Alfred Stieglitz, Edward Steichen, Gertrude Käsebier, Clarence White, and others who called themselves Pictorialists illustrate the establishment of photography as art equal to painting and the other fine arts. The photographs intermix with pastels, sketches, and prints in a lively display of themes of interest to many artists of the time. Even as painters and Pictorialists approached themes such as urbanization, agrarianism, and the human body with a strikingly similar, painterly aesthetic, debates still raged throughout the larger art world about whether photography functioned to document or to create. According to curator of photography Linda Benedict-Jones, “Photography has been presented as an art form in Pittsburgh since the 19th century. In 1904, Alfred Stieglitz was invited to organize an exhibition at this museum, and we were one of the first in the country to recognize photography as a fine art.” Even though the Stieglitz exhibition was on view for a mere three weeks, it attracted 11,000 visitors. “Our new exhibition allows us to revisit Pictorialist photographs from that era while seeing them in the context of Impressionism, a platform that is rare for photography.”
Many of the photographs in Impressionism in a New Light are drawn from the permanent collection of Pictorialist works, including a large donation to the museum by the George Ebbs family in 2007, as well as from the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City and the George Eastman House in Rochester, New York.
For associate curator of fine arts Amanda Zehnder, Impressionism in a New Light: From Monet to Stieglitz will broaden our picture of Impressionism, “exploring the radical, avant-garde aspects of Impressionism and the uproar that surrounded it in the late nineteenth century, its unique social scene, and how Impressionist aesthetics apply to many different media.” To coincide with the exhibition, the museum will publish a full-color, illustrated handbook entitled Impressionism and Post-Impressionism Collection Highlights.
Media Preview: May 11, 2012
Media members are invited to join curators Amanda Zehnder and Linda Benedict-Jones for a tour of the exhibition.
9:30–10 a.m. — Coffee and Registration
10–11 a.m. — Gallery Preview
To register, or for more information, please contact:
Jonathan Gaugler — 412.688.8690 – firstname.lastname@example.org
Changes to Scaife Galleries
While many of Carnegie Museum of Art’s most beloved works join Impressionism in a New Light, Scaife Galleries 4, 6, 7, and 8 will be transformed to allow a fresh interpretation of the permanent collection. The reinstallation, opening September 14, 2012, will highlight many of the museum’s strengths, including a dazzling new presentation of its Impressionism collection, its first-ever gallery dedicated to 19th-century sculpture, and another gallery showcasing popular French and American Realist landscapes.
Opening Event: The Art and Music of Avant-Garde Paris
Presented with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra
Saturday, May 12
5:00–6:15pm Exhibition open to ticketed Carnegie Museum and PSO members only
6:30–7:30pm Performance and discussion in Carnegie Music Hall
7:30–9:30pm Reception with hors d’oeuvres and cash bar; exhibition preview
$10 Carnegie Museum and PSO members;$20 nonmembers
Free for college and university students with valid I.D. General seating. Reservations are required. Call 412.622.3288. The first 800 attendees will receive a complimentary glass of Mumm Napa Brut Rose, generously provided by Perrier-Jouët and Pernod Ricard.
“Works of art make rules but rules do not make works of art.” This comment by renowned Impressionist composer Claude Debussy sets the stage for an unparalleled evening of art, music, and conversation. Celebrate the opening of Carnegie Museum of Art’s exhibition Impressionism in a New Light: From Monet to Stieglitz and the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra’s Paris Festival at an evening highlighting the experimental and radical aspects of Impressionism and its surrounding culture.
The symphony’s music director Manfred Honeck and concertmaster Noah Bendix-Balgley will join museum curators Amanda Zehnder and Linda Benedict-Jones, along with moderator Mary Davis, professor of musicology at Case Western Reserve University, to explore the parallels of Impressionist art and music during this era of rebellion and innovation. The event culminates with Debussy’s Danse sacrée et danse profane (Dance for Harp and Strings) performed by PSO musicians Shanshan Yao, violin; Meng Wang, viola; David Premo, cello; and Gretchen Van Hoesen, harp.
La Belle Époque Cabaret
An Evening in the Bohemian Style
Friday, July 27, 7:30–10 p.m.
Carnegie Music Hall Foyer
$20 members; $25 nonmembers, includes one absinthe drink provided by Pernod Ricard.
Seating is limited. Preregistration is required. Call 412.622.3288.
The cafés, cabarets, music halls, and outdoor theaters of 19th-century Paris served as the crossroads for bourgeois and bohemian cultures. The unknown, wealthy, famous, and infamous mingled with artists, writers, musicians, and performers in well-known establishments including Le Chat Noir, Le Mirliton, Le Moulin Rouge, Café Guerbois, and later, La Nouvelle-Athènes. As hotbeds for provocative conversation among the classes, these casual, social arenas were instrumental to political as well as artistic devlopments.
Join us for an evening evoking the environment of a bawdy Parisian cabaret from La Belle Époque. Members of the Pittsburgh Song Collaborative will perform period French songs (accompanied by English subtitles or translated into English) originally sung by Yvette Guilbert, Aristide Bruant, and others. The emcee, played by Rob Frankenberry, will be your guide through musical selections, comedic monologues, and satirical skits. Projected images of artwork will help emphasize the role that café culture played for Impressionist artists. Featured performers also include Benjamin Binder, piano; Rob Frankenberry, emcee, tenor, and piano; Liza Forrester, mezzo-soprano; Joseph Gaines, tenor.
Light, Time, and Apparatus: From Pictorialism to 21st Century Photography
Saturday, June 9, 6:30–8:00 p.m.
Galleries open until 9:00 p.m.
Free. Reception follows.
At the turn of the last century, world-renowned photographer Alfred Stieglitz was “determined that photography would be accepted as art”. He championed Pictorialism as the process that would achieve this end. Join us for an interesting and wide ranging discussion in which four contemporary photographers, whose work is informed by the history of photography and its various processes, discuss their thoughts and ideas on photography’s foundational elements: Light, Time, and Apparatus. They’ll offer reflection on these influence in the creation of their work with an emphasis on control of the art during a time of commercial standardization and how this is used to counter the anonymous quality of much of contemporary photography.
Presented with F295: Continued Explorations of 21st Century Photography Conference, June 7-10. To register for the full conference, visit www.f295.org/2012.
“Bound Together” Book Club
Second Thursday of the month, 6:30–7:45 p.m.
Meet in the Museum of Art lobby; Free
Space is limited; call 412.622.3288 to register.
This collaborative program of Carnegie Museum of Art and Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh presents a casual and thoughtful 15-minute gallery talk highlighting visual and literary connections. The talks are followed by book discussion in the galleries with fellow readers and library staff. Most books are available at Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh.
June 15: Emile Zola’s The Belly of Paris
July 12: David McCullough’s The Greater Journey
Tuesdays–Sundays, 1:30–2:30 p.m.
Mondays, July 9–August 27, 1:30–2:30 p.m.
Daily guided drop-in tours are free with museum admission and meet in front of the museum store. Teachers earn Act 48 hours for all tours.
ARTventures: Drop-in Activities for Families
Free with museum admission
May 13–June 17: Saturdays and Sundays
June 21–July 1: Thursdays–Sundays
July 5–Aug. 26: Thursdays–Mondays
Drop in any time between 12:30 and 4:30 p.m.
ARTventures means intergenerational fun through looking, making, and talking in the museum’s galleries. Meet our friendly staff on the Scaife landing to get started on a gallery search and art-making fun inspired by Impressionism in a New Light: From Monet to Stieglitz. Bring your family, friends, or just yourself.
Support for this exhibition was provided by the William Talbott Hillman Foundation, Fort Pitt Capital Group, DQE Communications, Duquesne Light Energy, Baierl Acura, Macy’s, and Mumm Napa Brut Rose, generously provided by Perrier-Jouët and Pernod Ricard. General operating support for Carnegie Museum of Art is provided by The Heinz Endowments and Allegheny Regional Asset District. Carnegie Museum of Art receives state arts funding support through a grant from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, a state agency funded by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
Carnegie Museum of Art
Located at 4400 Forbes Avenue in the Oakland section of Pittsburgh, Carnegie Museum of Art was founded by industrialist and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie in 1895. One of the four Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh, it is nationally and internationally recognized for its distinguished collection of American and European works from the 16th century to the present. The Heinz Architectural Center, part of Carnegie Museum of Art, is dedicated to enhancing understanding of the physical environment through its exhibitions, collections, and public programs. For more information about Carnegie Museum of Art, call 412.622.3131 or visit our web site at www.cmoa.org.