Working Among Flowers: Floral Still Life Painting in Nineteen-Century France

Dallas Museum of Art,  October 26, 2014 – February 8, 2015. Bouquets: French Still-Life Painting from Chardin to Matisse
Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, March 22, 2015 – June 21, 2015, Van Gogh, Manet and Matisse: The Art of the Flower
Denver Art Museum, July 19, 2015 – October 11, 2015, In Bloom: Painting Flowers in the Age of Impressionism

This exhibition is the first major American exhibition to consider the French floral still life across the 19th century. Developed from the strong partnerships fostered by the French Regional American Museum Exchange (FRAME), the exhibition is co-organized by Heather MacDonald, the Lillian and James H. Clark Associate Curator of European Art at the Dallas Museum of Art and Mitchell Merling, Paul Mellon Curator and head of the Department of European Art at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.  The exhibition explores the infusion of new spirit and meaning into the traditional genre of floral still-life painting in 19th-century France, even as the advent of modernism was radically transforming the art world. It features approximately 70 flower paintings by more than 30 artists, including well-known painters such as Jean-Siméon Chardin, Eugène Delacroix, Gustave Courbet, Henri Fantin-Latour, Édouard Manet, Vincent van Gogh, and Henri Matisse, as well as less familiar figures such as Antoine Berjon and Simon Saint-Jean.  These artists, whose careers collectively span the long nineteenth century, engaged in a sophisticated reworking of traditional imagery, bringing the floral still life into dialogue with emerging models of science and commerce, and ultimately transforming the genre into a meditation on the nature of artistic representation itself.

The exhibition was co-organized by the Dallas Museum of Art and the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, and supported by an indemnity from the Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities.

Flowers. Caillebotte, Gustave; Yellow Roses in a Vase; Oil on canvas, 1882; Dallas Museum of Art, The Eugene and Margaret McDermott Art Fund, Inc., in honor of Janet Kendall Forsythe.
Working Among Flowers - Dallas Museum of Art 2014-2015