In Bloom: Painting Flowers in the Age of Impressionism to be the centerpiece of summer at the Denver Art Museum

On July 19, the Denver Art Museum (DAM) will open In Bloom: Painting Flowers in the Age of Impressionism, the centerpiece exhibition for a campus-wide summer celebration. In Bloom explores the development of 19th-century French floral still-life painting, and features about 60 paintings by world-renowned French artists Édouard Manet, Edgar Degas, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Paul Cézanne, Vincent Van Gogh and others. On view through Oct. 11, 2015, In Bloom will be a ticketed exhibition, and free for museum members.

Édouard Manet, Flowers in a Crystal Vase, ca. 1882. Oil on canvas, 12-7/8 x 9-5/8 in. National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., Ailsa Mellon Bruce Collection, 1970.17.37.

The colorful exhibition demonstrates how a traditional genre was reinvented by 19th-century artists, as the art world's focus was shifting to modernism. The exhibition is co-curated by Dr. Heather MacDonald, Getty Foundation and formerly of the Dallas Museum of Art, and Dr. Mitchell Merling, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, and curated locally by Angelica Daneo, associate curator of painting and sculpture at the DAM. In Bloom examines the change from meticulous and lush still-life paintings to compositions with looser brush strokes and fewer, unified subjects. Organized by the Dallas Museum of Art and the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, the DAM will serve as the last stop for this exhibition.

“When we think of the Impressionists, images of vibrant landscapes come to mind, but in this exhibition our visitors will be able to experience the artists’ ability to capture the fleeting beauty of flower bouquets,” said Daneo. “Increasingly popular since the 1500s, the floral still life was revitalized in France during the 1800s, when artists explored the genre’s technical and artistic potential.”

In Bloom follows landmark developments in the French floral still-life genre from the late 1700s to the early 1900s. Visitors will receive a foundation for the experiments of the 19th century by starting with the examination of works by masters such as Anne Vallayer-Coster and Pierre-Joseph Redouté. Highlights of the exhibition include productions by artists from the Lyon School, Impressionist still lifes by Camille Pissarro, Edgar Degas and Pierre-Auguste Renoir and post-Impressionist works by Vincent van Gogh. The exhibition concludes with pieces by Odilon Redon, Pierre Bonnard and Henri Matisse, who continued the floral still-life tradition as modernism was radically transforming the art world.

Vincent van Gogh, (Dutch, 1853–1890; Active in France), Vase with Cornflowers and Poppies, 1887. Oil on canvas, 311⁄2 × 263⁄8 in. (80 × 67 cm), Triton Collection Foundation.

Inside the gallery, visitors will have the opportunity to engage with an optional In Bloom experience through The Impressionist Garden: Scent Experience. Since many Impressionist artists were avid gardeners and clipped their own flowers to create arrangements like those on view in the exhibition, a large photomural of Monet in his garden at Giverny sets the stage for this naturalistic experience. As visitors walk through the room they will encounter three scents inspired by flowers and foliage created by master perfumer Dawn Spencer-Hurwitz. When visitors leave the scent room, a special card will be available to continue the sensory experience of the gardens in the gallery that follows.

Prior to the opening of In Bloom, the DAM will plant the seeds for an artfully arranged summer season beginning in June. Visitors will watch the summer flourish with outdoor plaza installations, artists in residence, campus-wide programming and more.

“We are thrilled to bring an exhibition to Denver that will give visitors new insight into some of the world’s greatest artists,” said Christoph Heinrich, Frederick and Jan Mayer Director at the DAM. "This exhibition is the perfect opportunity for visitors to gain a deeper understanding of the museum’s permanent galleries with ‘floral moments’ scattered throughout the North and Hamilton buildings. In Bloom supporting programming will deliver a campus-wide knockout art experience for all audiences."

Monthly and weekend programming like Create Playdates, Fox Tale Sundays and Create-n-Takes will all be inspired by flowers. Sketching materials will be available on-site for visitors to take to the galleries and create their own flower-inspired artwork. Throughout the summer, visitors will also have the opportunity to watch artists at work making floral arrangements, wax flowers and beaded blooms.

Related Programs during In Bloom

Arrangements

These installations highlight the DAM’s vast and varied collections by spotlighting groupings of artworks from all over the world and across time that embrace the flower as subject matter. From the top floor of the North Building to the atrium of the Hamilton Building, visitors will encounter three- to four-piece arrangements with fascinating floral themes like romance, personal adornment and the meaning of flowers.

Flower Studio

Visitors are invited to explore their creativity in our hands-on studio space on the first floor of the Hamilton Building from July 19 through Oct. 11. The summer Flower Studio will highlight flowers as both an enduring subject and object for the visual arts. Visitors will be able to try out tools, experiment with materials and explore design approaches across several floral-related disciplines through hands-on activities showcasing a variety of media, creative practices and weekend demonstrations by local artists.

Untitled Final Fridays

On the final Friday of the month, the DAM offers a unique museum experience with unconventional art encounters, new insight into the DAM collection, artmaking activities, cash bar and more. At each mixed media Untitled event, the museum highlights a specific theme with exhibition-related activities and community collaborations. Untitled Final Fridays in July, August and September will focus on the overarching summer theme of flowers.

Untitled: Fresh Cut, July 31: A summer celebrating flowers springs to life looking at the art of arrangement and flower-focused food.

Untitled: Cross-Pollinate, Aug. 28: Take in the scientific side of flowers with a look at botany, bees and blooms.

Untitled: Offshoot, Sept. 25: Experience everything that flowers inspire, from perfumes to photography.

The 4 Seasons of Veronica Read

Opening on the same day as In Bloom, The 4 Seasons of Veronica Read (2002) is a four-screen video installation focusing on an English woman who talks over the course of an entire year about a flower bulb. With over 900 Hippeastrum bulbs in her two-bedroom house, Veronica Read’s obsession with these flowers is all consuming. Masquerading as a documentary about the Hippeastrum flower bulb, the work is actually a portrait of a woman wholly devoted to the care of these bulbs, which contain the hope of flowering only once a year. This video installation by acclaimed filmmaker and contemporary artist Kutluğ Ataman will be on view from July 19 to Oct. 11, 2015.

The installation of The 4 Seasons of Veronica Read by Kutluğ Ataman is made possible through the generous support of Baryn, Daniel, and Jonathan Futa. Additional support is provided by Polly and Mark Addison.

Exhibition Tour Schedule

In Bloom is a traveling exhibition and the DAM is the final destination. In Bloom was previously on view at the Dallas Museum of Art, and is currently on view at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts from March 21 to June 21, 2015.

Exhibition Ticket Information

In Bloom is free for members and ticketed for nonmembers. Tickets are on sale now and range from $15 to $5 and can be purchased at www.denverartmuseum.org. As a part of the Free for Kids program, tickets for children 6 through18 are capped at $5 and children five and under receive free admission.

Exhibition Organizers and Sponsors

In Bloom: Painting Flowers in the Age of Impressionism is co-organized by the Dallas Museum of Art and the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. It is supported by an indemnity from the Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities. Local support is provided by Singer Family Foundation; Adolph Coors Foundation Exhibition Endowment Fund; Baryn, Daniel, and Jonathan Futa; Beatrice Taplin; Polly and Mark Addison; the generous donors to the Annual Fund Leadership Campaign; and the citizens who support the Scientific and Cultural Facilities District (SCFD). Promotional support is provided by 5280 Magazine, CBS4, Comcast Spotlight and The Denver Post.

Media Resources

The Denver Art Museum is an educational, nonprofit resource that sparks creative thinking and expression through transformative experiences with art. Its holdings reflect the city and region—and provide invaluable ways for the community to learn about cultures from around the world. Metro citizens support the Scientific and Cultural Facilities District (SCFD), a unique funding source serving hundreds of metro Denver arts, culture and scientific organizations. For museum information, call 720-865-5000 or visit www.denverartmuseum.org.

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