Thursday, August 23, 2012

Must See Exhibit at The Jewish Museum

On our days off, members of the MJH staff have been known to visit other cultural institutions around the city. In fact, last week I ran into Peter, one of my co-workers, uptown at The Jewish Museum.  In the past I’ve run into our former deputy director at the Met’s new Roman art wing, a former executive assistant at the Morgan’s Babar exhibit, and so on. In short, we’re a gaggle of culture vultures, so when we say an exhibit is a must see, you can believe it. 

Edouard Vuillard: A Painter and His Muses, 1890-1940 at The Jewish Museum certainly fits into that category. I’ve long admired Vuillard’s lovely work. However, I’ve only ever seen his paintings in group shows, when he has been a sidekick of more well-known artists such as Pierre Bonnard, or in permanent collections. The Jewish Museum’s show sheds light on the importance of Vuillard’s inspiration, including his Jewish patrons, friends, and paramours. However, his beautiful paintings are really at the center of the show, and they speak for themselves. His intimate later portraits, in particular, are really quite unusual. It was a pleasure to learn more about this artist who rightly deserves his own exhibition. The exhibit runs through September 23.

Edouard Vuillard (French, 1868-1940)
Woman in a Striped Dress, from The Album, 1895
Oil on canvas
25 7/8 x 23 in. (65.7 x 58.7 cm)
The National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon, 1983.1.38

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