Monet, Renoir, Degas, and their Circle: French Impressionism and the Northwest

Seen as artistic radicals in their time, the French Impressionists found their way into premier public and private Northwest art collections impacting American artists for decades. Now on display through January 5, 2020, Tacoma Art Museum premiers a collection of classics to take in. The exhibit, Monet, Renoir, Degas, and Their Circle: French Impressionism and the Northwest, examines how the work of French Impressionists and their immediate precursors made their way into Northwest public and private collections.

“The purpose of this exhibition is deeply connected to the same passion that drove the French Impressionists, to transform the way we see,” said David F. Setford, TAM’s Executive Director and curator of this exhibition. “It does this in two ways. First, it puts rarely seen works from TAM’s European art collection into context and allows for an expanded visitor learning opportunity. In addition, it is also the first time that these Impressionist works from museums and private collections in the Northwest have been seen together. It will provide a lasting resource about French Impressionism and its historical impact for curators and collectors in our region and beyond.”

Monet, Renoir, Degas, and Their Circle: French Impressionism and the Northwest was organized and curated by Tacoma Art Museum, and includes approximately fifty works of art. The exhibition is accompanied by a small publication including essays by Setford and TAM curator Margaret Bullock, as well as an online listing of French Impressionist works currently in Northwest public collections.

The exhibition provides visitors the unique opportunity to enjoy signature works by Gustave Caillebotte, Mary Cassatt, Edgar Degas, Claude Monet, Berthe Morisot, Camille Pissarro, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, and Alfred Sisley among others. Filling out the story, paintings from some of the most important precursors of Impressionism such as Eugène Boudin, Jean- Baptiste-Camille Corot, Gustave Courbet, and Johan Barthold Jongkind are included.

“To round off the exhibition, there will be a section of artworks which demonstrate the influence of French Impressionism on Northwestern and American painters—in other words, how East Coast and Northwest artists adapted and interpreted the brushwork and use of light and color in their own work,” notes Margaret Bullock, co-curator of the exhibition.

“We are extremely grateful for the immense generosity of our regional sister museums in collaborating to create this exhibition,” notes Setford. “The treasures of French Impressionism that will be brought together for this exhibition demonstrate the depth and strength of the collections located in the Pacific Northwest.”

HILARY RYAN

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Tacoma Art Museum

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