In an exhibition showcasing approximately 120 books, photographs and prints produced during the time of Édouard Manet, the Toledo Museum of Art takes a look at how the times influenced prominent artists and their work.
“Prints and Authors from the Time of Manet” explores graphic arts created between 1830 and 1890 by some of the most talented artists of the period, including Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, James Abbott McNeill Whistler, Honoré Daumier and Manet himself.
On display Sept. 13 through Jan. 13, 2013 in the Works on Paper Gallery, the show complements the Museum’s major international exhibition “Manet: Portraying Life,” which opens in October.
“Unlike the Manet and ‘Made in Hollywood: Photographs from the John Kobal Foundation’ exhibitions, this show is not strictly portraiture. It’s really a general survey of what was going on in the art world during this period and includes landscapes, nature and political works as well,” said the exhibition organizer Tom Loeffler, assistant curator of Works on Paper. “We can see how artists were creating art during the time of Manet, drawing inspiration from each other and interpreting life around them.”
Manet and his contemporaries came of age during prolific change in the city of Paris and in society as a whole.
“In France, some artists were reacting against the redesign of Paris by documenting what was there before changes were being made by Baron Haussmann while others were reacting to politics,” Loeffler said. “Political art was very powerful during this period and is highlighted in the exhibition with satirical works by Daumier and Paul Gavarni and in the United States by the powerful documentation of the Civil War by Alexander Gardner.”
As the world was being transformed, artists began to change as well by looking to the world around them and exploring the possibilities of Realism. They started to paint more freely and portray everyday life was like in the streets and countryside. Previously, leading artists produced idealized paintings of biblical and mythological subjects, history, allegory and invented action, all subjects popular with the French populace, politicians, and the official Academy that controlled the Salons, the annual juried art exhibitions.
Because of their shift in technique and composition, younger progressive artists were often excluded from the Salon and criticized for their modern subject matter and free brushwork.
All of the works included in Prints and Authors are drawn from the TMA collection and feature European and American art.
The exhibition is made possible through the generosity of Toledo Museum of Art members and supported in part through the sustainability grant program of the Ohio Arts Council funded with an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.
Admission to the exhibition and museum is free.