PaperCity Magazine

January 2018- Dallas

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CLOCKWISE FROM TOP: COLLECTION AND PHOTO COURTESY THE ART INSTITUTE OF CHICAGO / ART RESOURCE, NYC; COLLECTION AND PHOTO COURTESY MUSÉE MARMOTTAN MONET, PARIS / BRIDGEMAN IMAGES; COLLECTION MUSÉE D'ORSAY, PARIS, PHOTO MICHAEL URTADO, © RMN-GRAND PALAIS / ART RESOURCE, NYC. JUST WHO WAS AN UNDERKNOWN IMPRESSIONIST GETS HER DUE, AND THE DALLAS MUSEUM OF ART STEPS INTO THE INTERNATIONAL SPOTLIGHT. CATHERINE D. ANSPON PREVIEWS THE SPLENDORS OF A FEMINIST BLOCKBUSTER ARRIVING SPRING 2019. IN an age of female empowerment and the push for respect and parity, from politics to filmmaking, one story breaking from the Texas art world offers a positive message. Four museums are collaborating to shine a spotlight on one of the seminal French painters of the second half of the 19th century. This summer, The Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia, the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec, the Musée d'Orsay in Paris, and the Dallas Museum of Art co-organize and co-present a major exhibition for Berthe Morisot (1841-1895), one of the original exhibitors in the Impressionists' salons and a co-founding member of the movement — an artist who is nonetheless hailed these days as "the forgotten Impressionist." The exhibition, "Berthe Morisot, Woman Impressionist," offers nearly 60 glorious paintings that highlight her unique contributions to a movement that still captivates the public today. This is the first exhibition devoted to Morisot in America in more than 30 years and follows multiple recent reappraisals of many of the leading men of Impressionism. (In Texas alone, Fall 2016 saw concurrent openings of the Degas retrospective at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, and the Kimbell's examination into early Monet.) THE BACKSTORY Berthe Morisot grew up in a bourgeois family. A descendant of French Rococo artist Fragonard, she had painting in her blood. She and her sister, Edma, were given art lessons that included study with French master Corot. Edma is the subject of The Cradle, 1872, included in this exhibition. Berthe Morisot went on to flaunt the era's conventions and become a painter. Far from a dilettante, she became part of art history. An encounter when she was at her easel one day at the Louvre led to her famous friendship with the painter Édouard Manet (the exact nature of which has been the stuff of speculation), as well as her marriage to his younger brother, Eugène Manet. Morisot was a favorite subject of the elder Manet, appearing in 12 works; she steals the show in his riveting canvas The Balcony (1868-1869), owned by the Musée d'Orsay. But the independent, even iconoclastic female artist was more peer than muse, as "Berthe Morisot, Woman Impressionist" will demonstrate. Presented in a loose chronological order, the dual-continent traveling exhibition unfolds according to seven themes: Becoming an Artist; Painting the Figure en plein air; Fashion, Femininity, and la Parisienne; Women at Work; Finished/Unfinished; Windows and Thresholds; and A Studio of Her Own. The titles hint at what make Morisot's paintings unique. She and American expat Mary Cassatt were the two female painters who loomed large in Impressionism. Certain subjects were verboten for women, however, so Morisot turned to topics that she knew best — ones that still appear modern today, nearly 150 years later, but told from her perspective as an art-world insider as well as a salon hostess in the era of Proust. Two women serve as co-curators for the exhibition: the DMA's Nicole R. Myers, The Lillian Clockwise from top: Berthe Morisot's Woman at Her Toilette, 1875-1880; the artist's Self-Portrait, 1885; Morisot's The Cradle, 1872. BERTHE MORISOT

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