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Van Gogh, Monet, Degas: The Mellon Collection of French Art from the Virginia Museum - Oklahoma City

Van Gogh, Monet, Degas: The Mellon Collection of French Art from the Virginia Museum - Oklahoma City

June 22, 2019

Oklahoma City Museum of Art 
415 Couch Drive
Oklahoma City, OK 73102

June 22, 2019 - September 22, 2019

Please contact the museum for information about admission fees. 

Featuring more than seventy works by French and European masters such as Degas, Manet, Monet, Rousseau and Van Gogh, this OH-sponsored exhibition celebrates Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon’s extraordinary gift of nineteenth and early twentieth-century French art to the VMFA. After first becoming interested in British sporting art, Paul Mellon began to collect nineteenth-century French art in the 1940s with his second wife, Rachel Lambert Mellon. While their collection largely consists of Impressionist paintings, it also includes masterpieces from every important school of French art—from Romanticism and the Barbizon School through Cubism and the School of Paris. Taken together, these works exemplify the Mellons’ personal vision and highly original collecting strategies, which provide a context for understanding this unique collection.

The exhibition will reproduce the invigorating experience of the Mellons’ collection, in which each work resonates with and gains greater strength from its lovingly created context. Van Gogh, Monet, Degas is presented in a series of sections including Cyphers of Modernity, Horses, Flowers, Views of Paris, People, Water, Interiors and Tables, The French Countryside, The Transformation of the Ordinary and VMFA: Toward Impressionism. Opening with Cyphers of Modernity, visitors will be introduced to two of the collection’s most characteristic paintings: Berthe Morisot’s Young Woman Watering a Shrub and Théodore Géricault’s Mounted Jockey. These paintings are emblematic of the collection in their commitment to modernism, as well as their subject matter, which appealed to Mrs. Mellon’s love of gardening and Mr. Mellon’s passion for horses and horseracing.

Exhibition organized by the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.

Image credit: Edgar Degas (French, 1834-1917). Little Dancer Aged Fourteen (Petite danseuse de quatorze ans), model executed ca. 1880; cast in 1922. Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond. State Operating Fund and the Art Lovers’ Society. Photo: Travis Fullerton. © Virginia Museum of Fine Arts

Special Programs sponsored by Oklahoma Humanities

August 14th, 2019 - Public Exhibition Lecture with Dr. Katie Henson (Assistant Curator of Art of Europe at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston) - French Impressionism and Post Impressions from the Mellon Collection - This lecture is free and open to the public.