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

The Denver Art Museum (DAM) announced today In Bloom: Painting Flowers in the Age of Impressionism as the centerpiece exhibition for a campus-wide “Summer in Bloom” 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 at the DAM from July 19 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, 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 genre from the late 1700s to the early 1900s by featuring seven distinct sections of the exhibition.

18th Century Paintings — The introductory section of the exhibition explores the foundations for the formal experiments of the 19th century, and includes works by early masters such as Anne Vallayer-Coster and Pierre-Joseph Redouté.

The Lyon School — Lyon, a center for French textile production, would serve as an important hub for experimentation and exploration of still-life painting. This section explores the relationships between academic flower painting, decorative applications of still life and the demands of mass production in textiles.

Vincent Van Gogh, Vase with Cornflowers and Poppies, 1887. Oil on canvas, 31-1/2 x 25-3/8 in. Triton Collection Foundation.

Early Impressionist Influences — This section of the exhibition examines the work of Delacroix and Courbet within the contemporary productions of artists in the Lyon School and the first stirrings of impressionist still lifes by Frédéric Bazille and Pierre-Auguste Renoir.

Henri Fantin-Latour — Featuring a diverse selection of paintings by specialist Fantin-Latour, this section explores the artist’s masterful ability at creating intimate and poetical compositions as well as the impact of still life paintings by his contemporaries.

Impressionist Practice — During the 1870s and 1880s, artists began taking greater liberties with color, light and space. The Impressionist practice section of the exhibition features works by artists such as Pissarro, Cézanne and Renoir, as well as contemporary flower paintings by Manet.

After Impressionism — This section examines the years between the end of the impressionist movement and the close of the 19th century, with a particular emphasis on van Gogh’s deep interest in the genre and lasting impact on his contemporaries.

20th Century Explorations — The exhibition concludes with the work of three 20th-century artists who continued the floral still-life tradition: Odilon Redon, Pierre Bonnard and Henri Matisse.

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 Summer in Bloom 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. Summer in Bloom will deliver a campus-wide knockout art experience for all audiences."

In June, the campus-wide summer celebration of Summer in Bloom will begin on Martin Plaza, in front of the Hamilton Building, which will be adorned with blooms and hands-on flower activities. A themed guide will enhance visitors’ experience with flower facts and ideas. 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 period, visitors will also have the opportunity to watch artists at work making floral arrangements, wax flowers and beaded blooms.

Related Programs during Summer 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 Kutlug Ataman will be on view from July 19 to Oct. 11, 2015.

Exhibition Tour Schedule

In Bloom is a traveling exhibition and the DAM is the final destination. In Bloom is currently on view at the Dallas Museum of Art through Feb. 8, 2015, and then travels to Virginia Museum of Fine Arts from March 21 to June 21, 2015.

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

Online Newsroom: www.denverartmuseum.org/press

Exhibition Page: www.denverartmuseum.org/exhibitions/bloom

Facebook: www.facebook.com/denverartmuseum

Twitter: www.twitter.com/denverartmuseum

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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