The Barnes Foundation, the Dallas Museum of Art, the Musée d’Orsay in Paris, and the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec have jointly mounted an exhibition of work by French impressionist Berthe Morisot that will open in Quebec next summer before traveling to Philadelphia. It will open here Oct. 20 for a run through Jan. 14, 2019.
“Berthe Morisot, Woman Impressionist” focuses on 50 to 60 portraits, figure paintings, and landscapes drawn from public institutions and private collections around the world.
Its important paintings include The Cradle (1872), which will visit Philadelphia from the Musée d’Orsay. Another highlight is Morisot’s In England (Eugène Manet on the Isle of Wight) (1875), a study of painter Édouard Manet’s brother now in the collection of the Musée Marmottan Monet in Paris.
“Woman Impressionist” will be the first Morisot exhibition mounted in the United States since 1987. It will also be the first solo exhibition of her work in Canada, and the first time since 1941 that a French national museum will devote an exhibit to her.
Morisot (1841-95) is seen by scholars as one of the founding members of French impressionism. Though she was widely known to collectors and critics during her lifetime, Morisot is not as well recognized today as her impressionist colleagues Claude Monet, Edgar Degas, and Pierre-Auguste Renoir.
The exhibition, previously reported to be on its way, is co-curated by Sylvie Patry, the former Barnes chief curator who now consults for the Barnes and is chief curator at the Musée d’Orsay, and Nicole R. Myers, curator of European art at the Dallas Museum of Art.
Presented semichronologically, the show traces the arc of Morisot’s career as a woman who stood in opposition to bourgeois norms, becoming an important member of the Parisian avant-garde. Morisot explored themes of modern life that came to define impressionism — the intimacy of contemporary bourgeois living and leisure activities, the importance of female fashion and the toilette, and women’s domestic work.