The Lens of Impressionism: Photography and Painting Along the Normandy Coast, 1850–1874
February 21–May 23, 2010
The Lens of Impressionism is an exploration of impressionist painting’s response to early photography within the context of a single geographic locale that was intensely explored by painters and photographers in the second half of the 19th century—the coast of Normandy. The convergence of social, artistic, technological, and commercial forces along the Normandy coast dramatically transformed the course of photography and painting, ultimately having a profound impact on the history of early impressionism. Among the artists represented here are painters Claude Monet, Édouard Manet, and Gustave Courbet, and photographers Gustave Le Gray, Henri Le Secq, and Louis-Alphonse Davanne.
The exhibition will include approximately ninety works, including photographs, paintings, drawings, and prints. Forty photographs, most of them vintage prints, and thirty-eight paintings, pastels, and watercolors will be shown, along with a selection of prints, maps, and ephemera evoking the new touristic culture of the Normandy coast.
The Lens of Impressionism: Photography and Painting Along the Normandy Coast, 1850–1874 is organized by the University of Michigan Museum of Art, where it will open in October 2009. It is made possible in part by the Florence Gould Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and other generous donors. The project features exceptional loans from the Bibliothèque nationale de France and the Musée d'Orsay.
The presentation in Dallas is made possible by Bank of America. Additional support is provided by Texas Instruments, Energy Future Holdings, and the DMA’s Junior Associates Circle with funds raised through An Affair of the Art 2010: Great Impression. Air transportation is provided by American Airlines. Promotional support provided by Metroplex Cadillac, Kroger, and DART.
The curator of the Dallas presentation is Heather MacDonald, The Lillian and James H. Clark Associate Curator of European Art. The exhibition will be accompanied by a major catalogue, including a series of essays by noted scholars in the field and entries on each of the exhibited works.
Claude Monet, Seascape: Storm, 1866, oil on canvas, Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, Massachusetts, © Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, Massachusetts, Photo: Michael Agee
Gustave Le Gray, The Brig Upon the Water, ca. 1856, albumen print, The Detroit Institute of Arts, Founders Society Purchase, Henry E. and Consuelo S. Wenger Foundation Fund, © 2004 The Detroit Institute of Arts