Feature Articles

April 2013

North Carolina Museum of Art in Raleigh, NC, Features Works from the Chrysler Museum

The North Carolina Museum of Art in Raleigh, NC, will present Masterworks from the Chrysler Museum, on view in various galleries in the West Building, from Apr. 9 through Feb. 2, 2014.

Beginning in April, the North Carolina Museum of Art (NCMA) will present paintings and sculptures from the Chrysler Museum in Norfolk, VA. Selected by NCMA Curator of European Art David Steel, these 18th- and 19th-century works by such masters as Edgar Degas, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Mary Cassatt, and Auguste Rodin will be installed among related works in the NCMA’s permanent collection.

“We are excited to partner with the Chrysler Museum to bring these extraordinary works of art to North Carolina,” says Lawrence J. Wheeler, director of the North Carolina Museum of Art. “Our mission has always been to provide access to the best works of art in the world. These magnificent loans help us to meet this noble goal while bringing to each visitor a rich experience with our own esteemed permanent collection.”

The loans are being made available to the NCMA while the Chrysler Museum undergoes renovations. Steel selected an array of art that complemented the NCMA’s permanent collection. “It gradually dawned on me that the works I was giving the most thought to either perfectly complemented works in our collection, like the two masterpieces by Rodin (one of them a marble), or filled gaps we might never fill,” he says of his selection process.

The decision to install the works in the NCMA’s permanent collection galleries rather than displaying them in a separate special exhibition will allow visitors to appreciate both the NCMA collection and the Chrysler works in new ways. Steel explains, “Installing the Chrysler works side by side with works in our own collection allows them to converse and interact with each other in ways that enhance the experience far beyond what an isolated exhibition could do.”

Wall labels will encourage visitors to make comparisons between the Chrysler paintings and sculptures and those in the NCMA’s permanent collection. Highlights from the Chrysler works include:

Edgar Degas, Dancer with Bouquets. Visitors are prompted to compare this painting’s pastel-like quality to the NCMA’s pastel by Degas, Le Repos which hangs nearby in the Impressionism Gallery.

Piere-Auguste Renoir, The Daughters of Durand-Ruel. Visitors can compare the vibrant palette and open brushwork of this garden scene to the Museum’s landscapes by Claude Monet and Childe Hassam in the Impressionism Gallery, and to Frederick Carl Frieseke’s Garden Parasol in the American Gallery.

Auguste Rodin, The Age of Bronze. While exploring the Rodin Court and Garden, visitors may compare the life-size The Age of Bronze, Rodin’s earliest masterpiece, to the NCMA’s collection of thirty Rodin sculptures and contemplate how Rodin represented the human form in different ways throughout his life as a sculptor.

Auguste Rodin, The Farewell. Camille Claudel, Rodin’s mistress and muse, inspired many of Rodin’s sculptures—such as the poignantly titled marble The Farewell and the NCMA’s La France—and visitors are encouraged to study the similarities and differences among them. Other works in the NCMA’s Rodin collection that complement this loan are The Kiss and Fugitive Love, which drew inspiration from Rodin and Claudel’s turbulent relationship.

Henri Fantin-Latour, Portrait of Léon Maître and Jules Joseph Lefebvre, Une Japonaise (The Language of the Fan). One of the most striking comparisons will be immediately visible between these two Chrysler works, installed side by side on one wall. While both are depictions of bourgeois from the same era wearing the height of fashion—one male and one female—the major differences between the two works are found in the subjects’ gazes: Fantin-Latour’s imposing portrait of Léon Maître forms a perfect counterpart to Lefbvre’s captivating portrait of a young woman revealing a coquettish expression.

David Steel hopes that visitors will not only enjoy viewing art by well-known artists, but will delight in uncovering new favorites, as well. “Although there are some great paintings and sculptures by famous artists,” says Steel, “maybe visitors will have the most pleasant experiences discovering amazing works by artists they may never have heard of, like Jules Joseph Lefebvre, Charles Gleyre, and Francesco Bertos.”

The Chrysler Museum of Art is one of America’s most distinguished mid-sized art museums with a world-class collection of more than 30,000 objects, including one of the great glass collections in America, and a new Glass Studio. The museum’s campus is located in Norfolk, VA. The Chrysler Museum is closed during 2013 for a major expansion, but the museum has organized off-site exhibitions throughout the region. The Chrysler Museum Glass Studio and its two historic houses are open.

The North Carolina Museum of Art’s permanent collection spans more than 5,000 years, from ancient Egypt to the present, making the institution one of the premier art museums in the South. The Museum’s collection provides educational, aesthetic, intellectual, and cultural experiences for the citizens of North Carolina and beyond. The 164-acre Museum Park showcases the connection between art and nature through site-specific works of environmental art. The Museum offers changing national touring exhibitions, classes, lectures, family activities, films, and concerts.

The Museum opened West Building in 2010, home to the permanent collection. The North Carolina Museum of Art, Lawrence J. Wheeler, director, is located on Blue Ridge Road in Raleigh. It is the art museum of the State of North Carolina, Pat McCrory, governor, and an agency of the Department of Cultural Resources, Susan W. Kluttz, secretary.

For further information check our NC Institutional Gallery listings, call the Museum at 919/839-6262 or visit (www.ncartmuseum.org).

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