Monet’s paintings come to Savannah’s Jepson Center for the first time

Posted on November 17, 2015 by

Jepson Center

Four of Claude Monet’s paintings, including “Waterloo Bridge” and “Champ d’avoine,” have made their way to Savannah for Telfair Museums’ Monet and American Impressionism exhibition, open October 16, 2015 through January 24, 2016 at the Jepson Center of the Arts.

Champ d’avoine by Monet

Claude Monet (French, 1840-1926)
Champ d’avoine (Oat Field), 1890
Oil on canvas, 26 x 36 7/16 inches
Samuel P. Harn Museum of Art, University of Florida
Gift of Michael A. Singer
1999.6

“As far as we have been able to determine, Monet’s work has never been shown anywhere in Savannah before this exhibition,” said Courtney McNeil, the curator of fine arts and exhibitions at Telfair Museums.

Monet’s work will be showcased along with 50 paintings by American Impressionist artists and two dozen original prints – etchings, drypoints, and lithographs – which are organized in five thematic groupings: “The Allure of Giverny,” “A Country Retreat,” “The Vibrance of Urbanism,” “The Comfort of Home,” and “A Graphic Legacy.”

It’s within these themes that the works of many leading figures of American Impressionism await – everything from landscapes and portraits to intimate depictions of women and children and modern life in American cities. Mary Cassatt, William Merritt Chase, Childe Hassam, Willard Metcalf, Theodore Robinson, John Henry Twachtman and J. Alden Weir are a few prominent figures whose work is featured in the installation.

The Garden Umbrella by Frieseke

Frederick Carl Frieseke (American, 1874-1939)
The Garden Umbrella, by 1910
Oil on canvas, 32 x 32 in. (81.3 x 81.3 cm)
Telfair Museums, Savannah, Georgia
Bequest of Elizabeth Millar (Mrs. Bernice Frost) Bullard, 1942.7

Together these works show a response, not only to the society and culture of America during that time, but also to the works of Claude Monet. The exhibition explores issues of their time, including America’s fascination with French art and culture, the effect of tourism, the changing roles of women and the shifting attitudes toward industrialization, exercise and public health, all of which is touched on in the catalogue about Monet and American Impressionism.

“The exhibition is accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue containing wonderful, full-color reproductions of all the works in the show,” said McNeil. “It also contains an introductory essay explaining why the exhibition was developed around the idea of Monet’s influence on American Impressionism, as well as a series of shorter essays from scholars in a variety of fields, exploring the works in the exhibition through the lenses of literature, urban planning, feminism and other perspectives.”

But paintings and a series of essays aren’t the only special collections that the Jepson Center is displaying this season. In addition to the Impressionist exhibition, they also have “The Spirit of Monet Plant Collection” displayed in the Sculpture Terraces at the Jepson Center, which was curated by the four horticulturalists with the Coastal Georgia Botanical Gardens to feature flowers that inspired Monet.

Admission to the Jepson Center is $20 for adults, $18 for seniors and military, $15 for students and free for children under 5 years; this includes access, not only to the Jepson Center (where the Monet and American Impressionism exhibition is), but also to the Telfair Academy and the Owens-Thomas House. For more information, call the Telfair Museums at (912) 790-8800 or go to telfair.org.