TMA exhibit focuses on Manet’s portraitsWritten by Sarah Ottney | Editor in Chief | firstname.lastname@example.org
A new exhibit at the Toledo Museum of Art (TMA) drew from more than 30 public and private collections worldwide to comprise the first exhibit focused on the portraiture of 19th century French painter Édouard Manet.
“Manet: Portraying Life” opened Oct. 7 and runs through Jan. 1. Toledo is the only American venue for the exhibition. After TMA, the works will be exhibited at London’s Royal Academy of Arts.
“This exhibit has been a long time in the making,” said TMA Director Brian Kennedy. “This is an important examination of a very important artist.”
Often credited as “the father of modernity,” Manet’s style inspired many well-known Impressionists, including Paul Cézanne, Claude Monet and Edgar Degas.
“A lot has to do with what he put in and what he left out,” Kennedy said, referencing “The Railway,” Manet’s painting of a girl looking at a train. The train is not in the painting, only steam from its engine. “In the way Manet encapsulates his period, we have a window into the birth of our modernity.”
Manet was born in 1832, just as daguerreotype photography was being developed, said co-curator Lawrence Nichols, TMA’s senior curator of European and American painting and sculpture before 1900.
He painted straight portraits, which depict the physical appearance of an individual, as well as genre scenes, in which subjects became actors in representations of contemporary life in 19th century Paris.
“Manet painted his family, friends and literary, political and artistic figures of his day, often in casual settings rather than traditionally posed portraits,” according to a news release. “His subjects come to life on canvas, making the viewer curious to know more about these people and their lives.”
His portraits are representations of love, the Industrial Revolution, social unrest, war and more, Nichols said.
“He was depicting his day and he was also responding to photography, which was new,” Nichols said. “He was living in an age in which the reproduction and representation of faces was expanding exponentially with photography.”
Nichols hopes Manet’s works prompt viewers to contemplate their conception of self, something especially relevant in today’s social media-saturated culture, Nichols said.
“It is very much about 2012 and what it means to conceive of yourself and what it means to be perceived by others,” Nichols said. “How many times do we pull out our own cameras and take pictures of family and friends or have our picture taken?”
The exhibit includes 34 oils and five pastels by Manet, Nichols said. There are also photographs, prints and books. The pieces are on loan from museums in Europe, North America and Japan.
“Édouard Manet is one of the major artists in Western European painting tradition. Michelangelo, Raphael, Rembrandt — Manet ranks among these, absolutely. This excites the daylights out of me,” Nichols said. “This is a very wonderful opportunity. There will definitely be no other chance to see this number of Manets in Toledo in the very near future. It’s not exhaustive, but we have some of the absolute greatest [of his portraits]. The gems are here.”
The museum is located at 2445 Monroe St. Museum hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday- Thursday, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, noon to 6 p.m. Sunday and closed Mondays and major holidays.
Admission to the exhibit is $8 for adults, $5 for seniors 65 and older and students age 6 to 22 and free for TMA members and children 5 and younger with a paid adult admission. An audio tour is available for $3. General admission to TMA is free.
- At 6 p.m. Oct. 11 in the Peristyle, there will be a free Master Series lecture. Gary Tinterow, director of the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, will discuss Manet’s fondness for Spanish art, particularly the artist Diego Velázquez. The Manet exhibit will be open to presentation attendees with exhibition tickets until 10 p.m.
- At 8 p.m. Oct. 19 in the Little Theater, a free screening of the film, “Édouard Manet: A Disturbing Strangeness,” will address Manet’s world and his art.
- At 7:30 p.m. Oct. 26 in the Little Theater, University of Toledo art historian Richard Putney will present “Manet’s Paris,” a free illustrated lecture devoted to Paris in the time of Manet.
For more information, call (419) 255-8000 or visit toledomuseum.org.
Artoberfest event to feature food, drink, art.
Artoberfest offers attendees the chance to eat, drink and be merry at the Toledo Museum of Art (TMA) plus tour the museum’s two newest exhibits, “Manet: Portraying Life” and “Made in Hollywood.”
Sponsored by Circle 2445, Artoberfest is designed to draw a younger crowd to the museum, said Circle 2445 board member Lisa Reyerse.
“We want to make the museum a destination for the 24 to 45 age range, so it’s something in their minds to do on a Friday night,” Reyerse said.
Circle 2445 is a group of young professionals who organize special events at the museum and act as ambassadors for TMA. The name comes from the museum’s address, 2445 Monroe St., but also represents the age range of people the museum wants to attract, said TMA director of communications Kelly Fritz Garrow.
“No one is going to get carded and turned away at the door, but it’s definitely a little bit younger crowd than what comes to our traditional major donor events,” Garrow said of Artoberfest. “We’re trying to engage with the Generation X and Millennial generations.”
Artoberfest is set for 6-10 p.m. Oct. 18 in Libbey Court. Advance tickets are $15 for members and $25 for nonmembers. Tickets at the door are $20 for members and $30 for nonmembers.
Last year’s inaugural event, which drew about 250 people, had a German feel, Garrow said. This year’s event will be more Franco-German, said Jackie Tussing, TMA development officer for special projects.
“This year we’re doing German with a little French twist,” Tussing said. “That will be the inspiration for the food.”
Besides Franco-German hors d’oeuvres, Heidelberg Distributing will offer tasting tables featuring German and French beers and wines. Local folk band Jack & the Bear will perform. There will also be a raffle for “Manet” and “Made in Hollywood” merchandise, a silent auction for glassware made by Glass Studio Manager Jeff Mack and a cash bar.
The event will not include the scavenger hunt or flashlight tour it did last year, because organizers want to keep the focus on the exhibitions.
“It’s going to be a really good opportunity for people to get in and see ‘Manet’ and ‘Made in Hollywood’ without having to fight the crowds,” Garrow said. “Manet in particular is really a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. These paintings are from around the world. You literally would have to travel for months, from Tokyo to Budapest to Paris to Belgium, to see all these paintings. It’s something we want this generation to understand — that the museum is here every week putting on great events, but once in a while, there’s kind of a can’t-miss type thing and Manet is that thing.”
Tussing said she hopes the event is well-attended and people have a good time.
“I hope they just have a wonderful time with their friends and view our world-class exhibitions,” Tussing said. “I’m not sure if people understand what a big deal Manet is. It’s going to be great.”
For more information or to reserve tickets, call (419) 255-8000, Ext. 7432, or visit toledomuseum.org/events/circle2445.