DID YOU SEE THE BLOCKBUSTER EXHIBITION AT THE CLEVELAND MUSEUM OF ART?

Submitted by Satinder P S Puri on Thu, 01/28/2016 - 01:33.



 
DID YOU SEE THE BLOCKBUSTER EXHIBITION AT THE CLEVELAND MUSEUM OF ART, PAINTING THE MODERN GARDEN: MONET TO MATISSE?


The exhibition which was on display from October 11, 2015 – January 5, 2016 and which was seen by nearly 129,000 visitors had sold out tickets and definitely long lines -- lines longer than Monet’s 42-foot long Triptych.


The Triptych of course is the nearly 42-ft. long, oil on canvas, painting: Agapanthus (Water Lilies) in three parts (each part being in the possession of a separate U.S. museum) and painted by Claude Monet (French, 1840–1926) between 1915-1926.


The triptych was inspired by Monet’s Water Garden a.k.a. Monet’s pond located in his famed garden at Giverny, West of Paris.


A detailed description of the Triptych has been provided in this post.


Well, if you did’nt get to see the blockbuster exhibition, the link shown below takes you to the website of the Cleveland Museum of Art where you can see photographs of sixteen paintings (listed at the end) from over 100 paintings that were included in the exhibition.
 


A composite of some of the16 photographs is shown on the next slide. The photographs were obtained from the Cleveland Museum website.
 


The Cleveland Museum which opened in 1916, is celebrating its centennial in 2016 with events and special exhibitions.
 
 
EXHIBITION ACCORDING TO THE CLEVELAND MUSEUM OF ART:
 
“The Cleveland Museum of Art and the Royal Academy of Arts in London are organizing an innovative exhibition that examines the role of gardens in the paintings of Claude Monet and his contemporaries. Arguably the most important painter of gardens in the history of art, Monet was also an avid horticulturist who cultivated gardens wherever he lived. As early as the 1860s, a symbiotic relationship developed between his activities as a horticulturist and his paintings of gardens, a relationship that can be traced from his early years in Sainte-Adresse to his final months at Giverny, “I perhaps owe it to flowers,” he wrote, “that I became a painter.”


While Monet remains the touchstone, the exhibition also looks broadly and deeply at the garden theme in modern art through the inclusion of paintings by other Impressionists, Post-Impressionists, and avant-garde artists of the early 20th century. The exhibition will lead visitors through the evolution of the garden theme, from Impressionist visions of light and atmosphere to retreats for reverie and dreams, sites for bold experimentation, sanctuaries of refuge and healing, and, ultimately, signifiers of a world restored to order—a paradise regained. Framing these paintings in the context of broad artistic movements, as well as social and political events, will offer unprecedented paths for understanding the garden as a multifaceted, universal theme in modern art.


Painting the Modern Garden: Monet to Matisse boasts over 100 works, the exhibition looks broadly and deeply at the garden theme in modern art through paintings by Claude Monet and fellow Impressionists, Post-Impressionists, and avant-garde artists of the twentieth century. A centerpiece of the exhibition is the reuniting of Monet’s great Water Lilies (Agapanthus) triptych depicting the artist’s water garden at Giverny. The Cleveland Museum of Art is the ONLY U.S. venue for this exhibition.


Tickets for Painting the Modern Garden: Monet to Matisse are $18 for adults; seniors and college students $16; children ages 6–17 $9; children 5 and under are free. Museum members free; member guests $9.


Painting the Modern Garden: Monet to Matisse is organized by the Cleveland Museum of Art and the Royal Academy of Arts in London.


In Cleveland, the exhibition is made possible by an indemnity from the Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities.”


MY COMMENTS ABOUT THE EXHIBITION:
 
The exhibition which opened on October 11, 2015 and closed on January 5, 2016 – was a blockbuster. Towards the closing weeks, despite the museum providing extended hours – open late on most days – tickets were sold out in advance. About 129,000 people saw the exhibition.
As a new member, I was lucky to get a ticket to see the exhibition on the afternoon of Wednesday, December 30, 2016.
 
It took me nearly four hours to walk through about a dozen rooms of the exhibition and look at over 100 paintings of all sizes (small and large), many photographs, a few books on flowers, catalogs for ordering plants, engineering drawings for Monet’s pond prepared by a Civil Engineer, and at the end a short movie showing Monet painting in his garden. Whenever I got tired – I would look for a seat. There were a few benches around but not enough.
 
The exhibition: Claude Monet (French, 1840-1926) to Henri Matisse (French, 1869-1954) – included works from a large number of painters not only from France but also from Germany, England, Spain, Holland, the United States, and other countries.
 
The paintings in the Impressionist and Post-Impressionst styles, or any which way the painter wanted to paint, included paintings of gardens showing a wide variety of flowers, trees, and shrubs; paths, people, pets, garden sculpture, buildings in various architectural styles, sheds, greenhouses, etc. – set under varying landscapes, light, and sky conditions.
 
The gallery rooms were packed. The foot traffic moved at a slow but even pace. Most viewers used the audio guide. I preferred reading the notes and the descriptions accompanying the paintings. I have always found that written descriptions help understand the paintings. I also took copious notes.
 
The large-sized paintings by Monet and a few by other painters were a sheer delight to look at. Instead of looking at 4 to 6 paintings per wall, it is much easier and more enjoyable to look at one or two large-sized paintings.
 
Some of the paintings were painted outside in the open air and some including the large sized paintings were painted in studios.
 
Monets Triptych (three panels for a total length of nearly 42 ft) – described later – and other large-sized paintings were painted in specially built studios with winter heating.
 
Monet’s later paintings on Weeping Willows and the Japanese Bridge had thick layers of paint that obscured the background if viewed up-close but appeared much clearer if viewed from a distance.
Monet in his later years (lived to be 86) suffered from deteriorating eyesight caused by cataracts. His painting style during this period changed. It is not known how much the change in style can be attributed to his failing eyesight.
 
The artists, in addition to their painting skills, were gardeners and horticulturists – they knew a lot about various types of plants and the sequence in which they had to be planted to obtain the best color patterns.
 
Viewing the Monet to Matisse exhibition was a very enjoyable experience.


CLAUDE MONET:
 
Claude Monet, one of the leading founders of the French Impressionist movement was born
on November 14, 1840 in Paris and died on December 5, 1926 at age 86, at Giverny.


He was not only a brilliant painter but also an avid gardener and horticulturist.


According to a Claude Monet quote: “My garden is my most beautiful masterpiece."
 
According to another Claude Monet quote: “I perhaps owe it to flowers that I have become a painter.”
The photographs of Claude Monet and his Water Garden showing the Water Lilies and the Japanese Bridge are from the Internet.
 


PHOTOGRAPHS IN THIS POST:
 
No photography was allowed inside the exhibition The photographs included in this post pertaining to the exhibition, PAINTING THE MODERN GARDEN: MONET TO MATISSE, are from the catalogue cover, from banners on the exterior and interior walls of the museum, from banners on utility poles, from advertisements in downtown kiosks, and from Internet sources including public domain images from WIKIPEDIA and WIKIART.


Where applicable, the photographs have been captioned with quotes from Monet.


Attribution has provided where the sources was clearly stated. The objective of this post including the reproduction of photographs is to inform and educate the reader – without any financial gain.




A. The photograph shows an exhibition banner attached to a utility pole in the University Circle area – where the Cleveland Museum of Art is located.
 
The banner surrounded by a tree with dried leaves is a setting for the Monet quote: “The richness I achieve comes from nature, the source of my inspiration. ”
 
B. The photographs from the Internet show Monet in his garden at Giverny – a setting for his quote: “My garden is my most beautiful masterpiece.”
 
 
 
 


A recent photograph (date: ?) of Monet’s Water Garden in Giverny by Pierre-Étienne Nataf is from Wikipedia.
 
 
 
C. The photograph of “Monet Painting in his Garden”, 1873, by Pierre-Auguste Renoir is from Wikiart.
 
 


D. The photograph of the painting “Iris Garden at Giverny”, 1899-1900, by Claude Monet, Oil on Canvas, is from Wikiart.
 
 


E. The photograph of the painting “Pathway in the Garden at Giverny”, 1900, by Claude Monet, Oil on Canvas, is from Wikiart.
 
 
 
 
F. The photograph of the painting “Chrysanthemums”, 1897, by Claude Monet, Oil on Canvas, is from Wikiart.
 
 
 
G. The photographs of a portion of the painting “Chrysanthemums”, 1897, by Claude Monet, Oil on Canvas, are from the catalogue cover.
 
 


H. The photograph is from an advertisement in a kiosk in downtown Cleveland showing the painting “Chrysanthemums”, 1897, by Claude Monet, Oil on Canvas with the added Monet quote:
“I perhaps owe it to flowers that I have become a painter.”
 
 
 


I. A photograph of a banner attached to a utility pole in the University Circle area – where the Cleveland Museum of Art is located.
 
The banner shows a portion of the painting “Chrysanthemums”, 1897, by Claude Monet, Oil on Canvas, with the added Monet quote: "I must have flowers, always, and always.”
 


J. A photograph of a banner attached to the interior façade of the 1916 historic building of the Cleveland Museum of Art.
 
The banner shows the painting “Chrysanthemums”, 1897, by Claude Monet, Oil on Canvas, with the added Monet quote: "I must have flowers, always, and always.”
 
 


K. The photograph shows three banners with paintings of Water Lilies (Agapanthus), c. 1915-1926, by Claude Monet, Oil on Canvas, on the façade of the 1971 addition to the Cleveland Museum of Art designed by Architect Marcel Breuer.
 
 


L. The photograph shows three banners with paintings of Water Lilies (Agapanthus), c. 1915-1926, by Claude Monet, Oil on Canvas, on the façade of the 1971 addition to the Cleveland Museum of Art designed by Architect Marcel Breuer, with the added Monet quote:
 
“It took me time to understand my water lilies.I had planted them for the pleasure of it; I grew them without ever thinking of painting them.”
 
 


M. The photograph shows two banners with paintings of Water Lilies (Agapanthus), c. 1915-1926, by Claude Monet, Oil on Canvas, on the façade of the 1916 historic building of the Cleveland Museum of Art, with the added Monet quote: “These landscapes of water and reflection have become an obsession."
 
 
N. The photographs show the two previous banners separately. The paintings are of Water Lilies (Agapanthus), c. 1915-1926, by Claude Monet, Oil on Canvas, on the façade of the 1916 historic building of the Cleveland Museum of Art, with the added Monet quote:
“These landscapes of water and reflection have become an obsession."
 
 
 


O. The three separate photographs are of paintings about Water Lilies, by Claude Monet, Oil on Canvas, from Wikiart. They were painted at separate periods: 1903, 1907, and 1914.
 
 
 
 
 
 


P. THE AGAPANTHUS (Water Lilies) TRIPTYCH:


In painting the Triptych (three separate panels), Claude Monet, (French, 1840–1926);
was inspired by his Water Garden a.k.a. Monet’s pond located in his famed garden at Giverny, West of Paris.


The Oil on Canvas paintings were painted inside a studio, approximately between 1915–26.


The overall length of the three combined panels is: 41 feet 10 7/8 inches long X 6 feet 7 7/8 inches high.


The three separate panels, each approximately 14 feet long are now in the possession of three separate U.S. museums:


Left Panel: The Cleveland Museum of Art,
Center Panel: Saint Louis Art Museum, and
Right Panel: The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, Missouri.


According to the St. Louis Museum website:
 
“Claude Monet was the most important of all the Impressionist painters, and his water-lily paintings represent the culminating achievement of his career. Monet's famous garden at Giverny— illustrated in this book in a number of the artist's paintings and studies, as well as in archival photographs—provided the inspiration for these paintings. This book focuses on one of Monet's most impressive water-lily triptychs, Agapanthus, executed between 1915 and 1926, and explores the fascinating and little-known history behind its creation.


Drawing on new technical analysis, the book examines the relationship betweenAgapanthus and related studies, as well as Monet's incessant reworking of the triptych. It also provides new information on Monet's original plans for the work's installation in a museum dedicated to his art to be erected in the garden of the Musée Rodin, Paris. Also explored is the posthumous history of the triptych, including its critical reception when first exhibited in the United States in the mid-1950s and its subsequent splitting up into three separate compositions, which were acquired by three Midwestern museums: the Saint Louis Art Museum, The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, and The Cleveland Museum of Art. The book accompanies an exhibition that reunites the triptych panels for the first time in more than 30 years.”


This photograph by Lynn Ischay of the Plain Dealer shows all the three panels of the Triptych, together, once again, at the Monet to Matisse Exhibition held at the Cleveland Museum of Art from October 11, 2015 to January 5, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio.
 
 
 
This photograph, from the St. Louis Museum website, also shows all the three panels of the Triptych, together, once again, at the St. Louis Art Museum Exhibition in St. Louis, Missouri, on Monet’s Water Lilies, held from October 2, 2011 to January 22, 2012.
 
 
This photograph, from WordPress also shows all the three panels of the Triptych, together, once again, at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, Missouri, Exhibition on Monet’s Water Lilies, April 9 to August 7, 2011.
 
 
 


MONET’S TRIPTYCH TOGETHER, ONCE AGAIN:
 
This composite photograph shows images of the Triptych from exhibitions held at each of the three museums that each own a separate panel:
 
Top: The Cleveland Museum of Art, October 11 – January 5, 2016
Center: Saint Louis Art Museum, October 2, 2011 - January 22, 2012
Bottom: The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, Missouri, April 9 – August 7, 2011.
 
 


Q. The photographs show a banner with the painting of the Japanese Footbridge by Claude Monet, Oil on Canvas on the façade of the latest addition to the Cleveland Museum of Art designed by Architect Rafael Vinoly.
 
Monet added the bridge in 1895. The bridge crosses the pond a.k.a. the Water Garden filled with Water Lilies – the subject of many of Monet’s paintings including the 42-ft long the Agapanthus (Water Lilies) Triptych – discussed earlier in item “P”.


 
 
R. The three separate photographs are of paintings about the Japanese Bridge, by Claude Monet, Oil on Canvas. They were painted at separate periods.


The first photograph: The Japanese Bridge, 1895-96, is from Wikiart.
 
 


The second photograph: Water Lilies and Japanese Bridge, 1897-99, is from Wikimedia Commons.
 
 
 
The third photograph: The Japanese Bridge, 1918-24 is from Wikiart.
 


S. The three composite photographs show the range of excellence in Monet’s paintings. Yet, this is how Claude Monet assessed his life:“My life has been nothing but a failure."
 
 
 
 
 
 


T. Photograph of a towel-headed (Sikh-American) gardener (Satinder P. S. Puri) among his flowers (mostly growing out of pots) on the West Side in Cleveland, Ohio.


 
 
U. THE MEETING OF BEARDS: Cleveland, Ohio, Activist, Retd. Structural Engineer & Gardener Satinder P. S. Puri (b. 1942, Lahore, former India) meets Claude Monet (French, 1840-1926).


 

THE CLEVELAND MUSEUM OF ART:
The Cleveland Museum, located in University Circle, in Cleveland, Ohio, has grown since the neoclassical Historic Building opened in 1916.


The first addition, which doubled the floor space, took place in March 1958.


The North Wing, the second addition, designed by Hungarian-born U.S. architect Marcel Breuer (1902-1981) was added in 1971.


The third addition, which included a library and added more floor space, took place in 1983.


A major multi-year expansion, designed by Uruguyan-born U.S. architect Rafael Vinoly, costing $350 million, and which also included the renovation of the 1916 building was officially celebrated on December 31, 2013. During this expansion – both the 1958 and 1983 additions were demolished.


The photograph shows the majestic 1916 Building of the Cleveland Museum of Art as viewed from the intersection of Euclid Avenue and Martin Luther King Jr. Drive.


 
 
The photograph shows the 1916 Building of the Cleveland Museum of Art as viewed from East Boulevard.


The photograph shows the 1916 Building of the Cleveland Museum of Art and the latest addition designed by architect Rafael Vinoly.


The photograph shows the 1971 Addition to the Cleveland Museum of Art designed by architect Marcel Breuer.




CENTENNIAL CELEBRATIONS:
The Cleveland Museum of Art which opened on June 6, 1916 is celebrating 100 years of its existence with special exhibitions and events.


Here is a list of the special exhibitions. Please visit the Cleveland Museum website for details.


*Painting the Modern Garden: Monet to Matisse, 10-11-15 to 01-05-16


*Pharaoh: King of Ancient Egypt, 03-13-16 to 06-12-16


*Converging Lines: Eva Hesse and Sol LeWitt, 04-03-16 to 07-31-16


*Art and Stories from Mughal India, 07-31-16 to 10-23-16




 
CATALOGUE:
A comprehensive catalogue is available for those who would like to read and see what they missed.


According to the Cleveland Museum of Art:


“William H. Robinson, Clare A. Willsdon, Ann Dumas, James Priest, and Heather Lemonedes


While depictions of gardens are found throughout history, the impressionists were among the first to portray gardens directly from life, focusing on their color and form rather than using them as a background. This handsome volume explores the close, symbiotic relationship between artists and gardens that developed during the latter part of the 19th and first part of the 20th centuries, centering on Monet, a great horticulturalist as well as a great artist who cultivated gardens wherever he lived, and the creation of his masterpiece garden at Giverny, where he painted his renowned water-lilies series.


Sumptuously illustrated with masterpieces from Monet’s fellow impressionists and later artists like Bonnard, Sargent and others, this book is the catalog to the exhibition, Painting the Modern Garden: Monet to Matisse.


304 pages over 150 full-color illustrations
11.5 x 12.6 inches
Royal Academy Publications, 2015”


LIST OF PHOTOGRAPHS OF 16 PAINTINGS AVAILABLE ON THE CLEVELAND MUSEUM OF ART WEBSITE.


TO ACCESS THE WEBSITE, CLICK ON THE LINK BELOW:
 
 
1. Title: Monet Painting in His Garden at Argenteuil, 1873.
Painter: Pierre-Auguste Renoir (French, 1841–1919), Oil on Canvas, 46.7 x 59.7 cm
2. Title: Louis Comfort Tiffany, 1911.
Painter: Joaquin Sorolla (Spanish, 1863–1923), Oil on Canvas, 150.5 x 225.4 cm


3. Title: Chrysanthemums, 1897.
Painter: Claude Monet (French, 1840-1926), Oil on Canvas, 130 x 89 cm.


4. Title: Water Lilies (Agapanthus), c. 1915-1926.
Painter: Claude Monet (French, 1840-1926), Oil on Canvas, 201.3 x 425.6 cm.


5. Title: Garden at Auvers, 1890.
Painter: Vincent van Gogh (Dutch, 1853-1890), Oil on Canvas, 63.9 x 80 cm.


6. Title: The Monet Family in their Garden at Argenteuil, 1874.
Painter: Edouard Manet. (French, 1832-1883), Oil on Canvas, 61 x 99.7 cm.


7. Title: The Artist’s Garden in Argenteuil (A Corner of the Garden with Dahlias), 1873.
Painter: Claude Monet (French, 1840-1926), Oil on Canvas, 61 x 82.5 cm.


8. Title: The Artist’s Garden at Eragny, 1898.
Painter: Camille Pissaro (French, 1830-1903), Oil on Canvas, 73.3 x 92.1 cm.


9. Title: The Garden in Rue Cortot, Montmartre, 1876.
Painter:Pierre-Auguste Renoir, (French, 1841-1919), Oil on Canvas, 154.3 x 88.9 cm.


10. Title: The Artist’s House at Argenteuil, 1873.
Painter: Claude Monet (French, 1840-1926), Oil on Canvas, 60.2 x 73.3 cm.


11. Title: Chrysanthemums, 1888.
Painter: Dennis Miller Bunker (American, 1861-1890), Oil on Canvas, 90 x 121 cm.


12. Title: Adam and Eve, 1902.
Painter: Paul Gauguin (French, 1848–1903). Oil on burlap; 59 x 37.9 cm.


13.Title: Waterlilies, 1903.
Painter: Claude Monet (French, 1840–1926). Oil on canvas; 81.3 x 101.6 cm.


14.Title: Dahlias: The Garden at Petit Gennevilliers, 1893..
Painter: Gustave Caillebotte (French, 1848–1894). Oil on canvas; 115.6 x 88.4 cm.


15.Title: Chrysanthemums, c. 1874–76.
Painter: James Tissot (French, 1836–1902). Oil on canvas; 118.4 x 76.2 cm.


16.Title: In the Garden of Pretzfeld Castle, 1905.
Painter: Curt Herrmann (German, 1854–1929). Oil on canvas; 64.9 x 83 cm.


ADDITIONAL READING:
 
*Cleveland Museum of Art's "Monet to Matisse" digs for roots of modernism in artists' gardens (photos), Steven Litt, The Plain Dealer, October 9, 2015.
 
*Cleveland Museum of Art's 'Monet to Matisse' sold out through final day, Jan. 5 (photos), Steven Litt, The Plain Dealer, December 30, 2015.
 
 
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