Friday, February 15, 2019

Bouguereau Exhibition Opens Today

A major exhibition of William-Adolphe Bouguereau (1825-1905) opens today at the Milwaukee Art Museum.
"Bouguereau and America showcases more than forty masterful paintings by the French academic painter William-Adolphe Bouguereau (1825–1905). The exhibition explores the artist’s remarkable popularity throughout America’s Gilded Age, from the late 1860s to the early 1900s. During this period, owning a painting by the artist was de rigueur for any American who wanted to be seen as a serious collector: the artist’s grand canvases brought a sense of classic sophistication to newly formed collections. Their chastely sensual maidens, Raphaelesque Madonnas, and impossibly pristine peasant children mirror the religious beliefs, sexual mores, social problems, and desires of that period. Moreover, the exhibition offers an opportunity to examine how society’s perspectives can shift over time."

Catalog: Bouguereau and America
192 pages, Yale University Press, 10 x 12 inches----

Exhibition: "Bouguereau and America" at Milwaukee Art Museum: February 15–May 12, 2019
The exhibit continues in Memphis (June 22—Sept. 22, 2019), and San Diego (November 9—March 15, 2020.


Pat Rock said...

My wife and I are driving from Indy to Milwaukee in early March to see this. The Indianapolis Art Museum owns a Bouguereau and it is a beautiful painting. I'm a little overwhelmed at the idea of 50 these beauties. I may pass out.

Its a rare opportunity to examine so many paintings at once by a single painter. The fact that he is one of the best representational painters in history makes this a singular opportunity; particularly for followers of this blog who, I think, are mostly interested in that kind of thing.

I hope everyone finds a way to get to one of the three stops.

If you're reading this and you've never gone to a show like this, I highly encourage you to make every effort, if you're interested. We saw the MOMA's Matisse Picasso exhibit in 2003 and it was kind of life changing. Since then we've always made an effort to see any "big" shows that were of even marginal interest to us. It never disappoints to see so much of a singular artist (or movement) all collected in one place for you compare and contrast with in person.

Unknown said...

When I was in college in the 80s I had a summer job as a security guard at the Milwaukee Art Museum. Great gig. That painting of Homer and his Guide that you have posted used to knock my socks off every time. I remember thinking, "who the hell is this guy and why doesn't anyone paint like this anymore?" Thankfully, that's changing.

Rich said...

Surely a worthwile visit to the museum: Alone the dog on the Homer painting would be worth the entry fee: what a marvellous animal!

A pro pos Homer: Probably nowadays rather associated with the Simpsons...