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Crocker Art Museum Presents "Summer of Impressionism"

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Media Contact: Kathleen Richards
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Crocker Art Museum Presents
"Summer of Impressionism"
Three Special Exhibitions Showcase the Path of Impressionism from France to the U.S.

March 4, 2011 – Sacramento, Calif. – The Crocker Art Museum will present a series of exhibitions this summer featuring Impressionist paintings. With a strong emphasis on landscapes, the exhibitions collectively feature paintings by renowned French and American artists alongside Californian Impressionist works.

The Crocker's "Summer of Impressionism" comprises:

  • "Transcending Vision: American Impressionism, 1870-1940," exploring the dissemination of French Impressionism in American painting, on loan from the Bank of America Collection;
  • "Landscapes from the Age of Impressionism," an exhibition of 40 mid-19th through early 20th-century French and American landscapes, on loan from the collection of the Brooklyn Museum;
  • "Gardens and Grandeur: Porcelains and Paintings by Franz A. Bischoff," featuring 40 works by the Bavarian-born artist who moved to California in 1906. This exhibit is organized by the Pasadena Museum of California Art.


"People often think of French artists when they hear the word 'Impressionism,' but aren't as familiar with the extraordinary Impressionist works created by artists in the United States, and especially here in California," said Lial A. Jones, Mort and Marcy Friedman Director of the Crocker Art Museum. "We are extremely pleased to share a wide-ranging experience of Impressionism with our visitors this summer – one that brings together works by the French masters and the greatest Impressionist painters of this country. We're particularly excited to present the 'Summer of Impressionism' as an example of the enhanced programming we are now able to offer at the Crocker."

"Transcending Vision: American Impressionism, 1870–1940," opening at noon on May 14 and on view through September 25, 2011, explores both the dissemination of Impressionism from its French roots into the American idiom, and its reinterpretation in American landscape painting. Featuring 125 paintings, drawings, and prints drawn from the Bank of America Collection, the exhibition traces the development of Impressionism in the United States and the growth of a distinctively American style of painting.

Among the 75 prominent American artists represented in "Transcending Vision" are Childe Hassam, Lilla Cabot Perry, George Bellows, George Inness, Thomas Moran, and Arthur Wesley Dow. The exhibition is mainly comprised of oil paintings and encompasses the Hudson River School, American Impressionism, and a few works on the cusp of Modernism.

"Transcending Vision" is provided by Bank of America's Art in our Communities™ program. Through the program, Bank of America has transformed its collection into a unique community resource from which museums and nonprofit galleries may borrow complete exhibitions. By providing these exhibitions and the support required to host them, this program helps enrich communities culturally and economically and generate vital revenue for museums. By the end of 2011, Bank of America will have loaned more than 40 exhibitions to museums worldwide.

"Bank of America is dedicated to strengthening artistic institutions and, in turn, the surrounding communities we serve," said Kathie Sowa, Sacramento Market President, Bank of America. "Sharing our art collection with the public through partners such as the Crocker Art Museum brings world-class cultural experiences to the residents and visitors of Sacramento and beyond and provides important support to the Crocker that contributes to the local economy."

"Landscapes from the Age of Impressionism" includes many of the finest examples of mid-19th through early 20th-century French and American landscapes from the collection of the Brooklyn Museum. The exhibition of 40 paintings, opening at noon on June 11 and on view through September 18, 2011, offers a broad survey of landscape painting as practiced by leading French artists such as Claude Monet, Gustave Courbet, Camille Pissarro, and Alfred Sisley, as well as their most significant American followers, including Childe Hassam and John Singer Sargent.

Among the earliest works in the exhibition are Charles-François Daubigny's "The River Seine at Mante," and Gustave Courbet's "Isolated Rock," which reveal the impact of plein-air sketching practice on landscape art of the period. Heirs to this plein-air tradition, French Impressionists Claude Monet, Alfred Sisley, Camille Pissarro, and Gustave Caillebotte, painted highly elaborated "impressions"—the seemingly spontaneous, rapidly executed landscapes and cityscapes that prompted the name of their movement. Monet is represented here by several works including "Rising Tide at Pourville," "Vernon in the Sun," and "The Islets at Port-Villez."

Following in the footsteps of the French artists, many American painters sought to improve their skills and find inspiration in Paris and its environs, attending French art academies and frequenting the painting locations made famous by their Barbizon and Impressionist predecessors. Some of the Americans had direct contact with leading French landscape painters, sharing landscape sites or seeking informal guidance from admired mentors.

The majority of the American paintings on display depict American locales: beaches, factories, tenements, and notable subjects such as Central Park. These works, including Williams Glackens's "Bathing at Bellport, Long Island," Julian Alden Weir's "Willimantic Thread Factory," Robert Spencer's "The White Tenement," and Willard Leroy Metcalf's "Early Spring Afternoon, Central Park," are distinguished by brilliant colors and lively, broken brushwork.

"Gardens and Grandeur: Porcelains and Paintings by Franz A. Bischoff" will open at the Crocker at noon on June 25 and will be on view through October 23, 2011. This exhibition will feature approximately 40 examples of Bischoff's work, including porcelains, still lifes, and Impressionist landscapes.

After beginning his career as a china painter in Bavaria, Bischoff immigrated to the United States in 1885 to become one of the foremost porcelain painters of his day. He won numerous awards and earned the title "King of the Rose Painters." When he moved to California in 1906, he began to paint still lifes and landscapes, including the coastal areas of Monterey and Laguna Beach, the Sierra Nevada Mountains, and desert regions.

"Gardens and Grandeur" was organized by the Pasadena Museum of California Art and curated by Jean Stern, the executive director of the Irvine Museum. The Crocker's chief curator and associate director, Scott A. Shields, Ph.D., contributed an essay to the exhibition catalogue.

EXHIBITION-RELATED PROGRAMMING

Tuesday, April 26, 5:30 p.m.
Tuesday, May 17, 5:30 p.m.
Tuesday, June 14, 5:30 p.m.
Lecture Series: Color Transformations in Impressionism
This lecture series, led by Dr. John S. Werner, Distinguished Professor, UC Davis Eye Center examines the science of color as it was understood during the age of Impressionism, and how the aging or ailing eye actually experiences color. Lecture topics are: "In the Eye" on April 26, "On the Canvas" on May 17, and "Across the Life Span" on June 14. Advance registration is recommended. Purchase tickets at crockerartmuseum.org, at the Museum Admission Desk, or by calling (916) 808-1182. Free with Museum admission.

Thursday, April 28, 7 p.m.
Open Art: Artists & the Environment
Get ready for the "Summer of Impressionism" and explore how contemporary artists working in various media incorporate the environment in their work. Artists Enid Baxter Blader, Ned Kahn, and John Roloff will participate in a panel discussion moderated by Shelly Willis, Manager of the Sacramento Metropolitan Arts Commission's Art in Public Places Program. Presented in collaboration with the Sacramento Metropolitan Arts Commission. Advance registration is recommended. Purchase tickets at crockerartmuseum.org, at the Museum Admission Desk, or by calling (916) 808-1182. $6 members, $12 nonmembers.

Sunday, May 22, 3 p.m.
Classical Concert: Sacramento Saturday Club Presents
The Sacramento Saturday Club, established in 1893, is the oldest musical organization in Sacramento. Works by American Impressionist composer Charles Griffes will be performed by flautist Maquette Kuper, vocalists Rona Commins, James Gentry and Rufina Jones, and pianist John Cozza. The Zephyr Wind Quintet will also perform. Purchase tickets at crockerartmuseum.org, at the Museum Admission Desk, or by calling (916) 808-1182. $6 members, $12 nonmembers

Thursday, June 16, 12 p.m.
Lunch & Learn
Join us for an in-depth talk about E. Charlton Fortune's "Feeding Time, Monterey," a work of art on view in the Crocker's gallery of Californian Impressionist works. Participants are encouraged to enjoy lunch at the Crocker Cafe before or after the talks. Free with Museum admission.

Sunday, June 26, 3 p.m.
Classical Concert: Robin Sharp, Violin & Lori Lack, Piano
Inspired by "Transcending Vision," violinist Robin Sharp and pianist Lori Lack will perform Claude Debussy's "Sonata for Violin and Piano," Jascha Heifetz's "Transcriptions for Violin," George Gershwin's "Porgy and Bess," and "Nocturne and Cortège" by Lili Boulanger. Purchase tickets at crockerartmuseum.org, at the Museum Admission Desk, or by calling (916) 808-1182. $6 members, $12 nonmembers


The Crocker Art Museum is one of the leading art institutions in California. Established in 1885, the Museum offers a diverse spectrum of special exhibitions, events, and programs to augment its collections of Californian, European, Asian, African, and Oceanic artworks. The Crocker is located at 216 O Street in Downtown Sacramento. Museum hours are 10 a.m.–7 p.m., Tuesday–Wednesday; 10 a.m.–9 p.m., Thursdays; 10 a.m.–5 p.m., Friday–Sunday. Every Third Sunday of the month is "Pay What You Wish Sunday" sponsored by Bank of America. For more information, call (916) 808-7000 or visit crockerartmuseum.org.

Bank of America and the Arts As one of the world's largest financial institutions and a major supporter of arts and culture, Bank of America has a vested interest and plays a meaningful role in the international dialogue on cultural understanding. As a global company, Bank of America demonstrates its commitment to the arts by supporting such efforts as after-school arts programs, grants to help expand libraries, programs to conserve artistic heritage as well as a campaign to encourage museum attendance. Bank of America offers customers free access to more than 120 of the nation's finest cultural institutions through its acclaimed Museums on Us® program, while Art in our Communities™ shares exhibits from the company's corporate collection with communities across the globe through local museum partners. The Bank of America Charitable Foundation also provides philanthropic support to museums, theaters and other arts-related nonprofits to expand their services and offerings to schools and communities. Bank of America partners with more than six thousand arts institutions worldwide.

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