American Impressionist Paintings on View This Summer at the Anchorage Museum of History and Art
June 28, 2005
"Light Motifs: American Impressionist Paintings from
The Metropolitan Museum of Art"
On view July 1 through Sept. 5
Opening reception June 30, 5:30 to 7 p.m. with curator's lecture 7 to 8:30 p.m.
A remarkable exhibition of American Impressionist paintings from The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City debuts at the Anchorage Museum of History and Art July 1.
A selection of 27 paintings showcases the works of a group of American artists who studied in Paris and elsewhere in Europe in the years following the Civil War. They include Mary Cassatt, John Singer Sargent, Childe Hassam, and William Merritt Chase.
These painters and others initially traveled to Europe for academic training, but eventually adopted many of the philosophies and techniques espoused by the Impressionists there. Monet, Degas and Renoir drew from personal experiences for their subject matter, rendering their paintings with rapid brushwork and a high-keyed palette. The Americans adopted and adapted that style in their own work.
While the American painters were excited and energized by the rapid changes under way in society at the time - such modern conveniences as the typewriter and fountain pens were being invented - they also longed for a simpler and more familiar past. Their paintings reflected that dichotomy. Exhibition curator H. Barbara Weinberg, an expert on American Impressionism, believes the paintings and that pull between the past and a rapidly changing present resonates with modern viewers as well.
The paintings included in the exhibition beautifully portray the light-infused style, enthusiasm for modern life and simultaneous nostalgia. Among them are Cassatt's 1899 Portrait of a Young Girl, Hassam's 1902 Broadway and 42nd Street, and Sargent's 1885 Reapers Resting in a Wheat Field.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art is sharing a portion of its holdings of American Impressionist paintings with Alaskans and their visitors because the pieces are so rarely seen here. The majority of those painters were active in the northeast portion of the United States, so few of their works exist in Alaskan collections.
Following its visit at the Anchorage Museum, the exhibition travels to the University of Alaska Museum of the North in Fairbanks.
This exhibition was organized by The Metropolitan Museum of Art. This project is funded through the Institute of Museum and Library Services by an Act of Congress, in accordance with the FY2004 Consolidated Appropriations bill.
Talks on Impressionism
In conjunction with the Light Motifs exhibition, join the Museum for a series of free lectures on American Impressionism by local artists, art historians and art educators.
Thursday, July 7 at 6 p.m.
Monet: Quintessential Impressionist by artist Graham Dane
Thursday, July 14 at 6 p.m.
Impressionism and the Birth of Modern Art by curator Julie Decker, Ph.D.
Thursday, July 21, at 6 p.m.
French Impressionism in America and American Collectors by Graham Dane
Thursday, July 28 at 6 p.m.
James McNeil Whistler: The Artist as A work of Art by art historian Sloan Seiden
Thursday, August 4 at 6 p.m.
California Impressionism: East-West Coast Mythology and Culture by art educator Sean Licka, Ph.D.
For more information, call (907) 343-4326.