The Oklahoma City Museum of Art is currently featuring an exhibition with more than 70 works by French and European masters such as Degas, Manet, Monet, Matisse, Renoir, Picasso, Van Gogh, and Rousseau.
The collection celebrates Paul and Rachel Lambert Mellon’s extraordinary gift of 19th and early 20th-century French art to the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. After first becoming interested in British sporting art, Paul Mellon began to collect 19th-century French art in the 1940s with his second wife, Rachel Lambert Mellon. The couple gave a large part of their collection to VMFA between 1983 and 1985, along with select major gifts in the years to come.
According to Oklahoma City Museum of Art, Assistant Curator, Jessica Provencher, the exhibition provides an excellent opportunity for Oklahoma residents to experience an impressive collection.
“Collectively, all of these works exemplify the Mellons’ personal vision and their highly original collecting strategies, which provide a context for understanding this unique and very personal collection. The Mellons never intended to become systematic collectors, nor did they simply collect works because they considered them a good investment; instead, they acquired art that appealed to their sensibilities, works that reflected their interests or recalled happy memories.”
The exhibit is certainly worth the viewer’s time, and it is such a unique experience for Oklahoman’s of all ages to be able to see internationally acclaimed pieces of art in person without having to travel long distances. The wide variety of art showcases various mediums and styles of art ranging from sculptures such as “Dancer” by Degas to Picasso’s cubism portrait “The Chinese Chest of Drawers.”
Provencher stressed the variety of art being showcased, and the variations of style the viewer will be exposed to during the exhibit.
“‘Van Gogh, Monet, Degas’ offers a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for Oklahomans to see this collection outside of the VMFA and to experience outstanding works by 19th- and 20th-century French and European masters. While the exhibition primarily consists of Impressionist paintings, with a particular emphasis on Van Gogh, Monet, and Degas, it also includes masterpieces from every important school of French art—from Romanticism and the Barbizon School through Cubism and the School of Paris,” Provencher said.
The display is organized differently than its initial layout at the VMFA in order for viewers to be able to take in the art in sections and focus on the various themes.
“This traveling exhibition is designed for visitors to experience the works through several sections—including Flowers, Horses, Water, and Views of Paris—that provide a context for understanding the collection and the Mellons’ collecting strategies,” Provencher stated.
The Van Gogh, Monet, Degas, Mellon Collection of French Art will be on display at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art from June 22- September 22, 2019. Admission is free for Museum members, and $15.00 for a general ticket. Student, senior, and child discounts are also available upon purchase. For further information on the exhibition you can go to www.okcmoa.com