masters at the mfah

Meet masters from Monet to Matisse at Museum of Fine Arts, Houston's summer affair

Meet masters from Monet to Matisse at the MFAH's summer affair

MFAH:Claude Monet, Boats on the Beach at Étretat
Claude Monet, Boats on the Beach at Étretat, 1883, oil on canvas, Bemberg Collection. Museum of Fine Arts Courtesy Photo
MFAH: Paul Signac, Flowering Almond Trees
Paul Signac, Almond Trees in Flower, 1902-04, oil on canvas, Bemberg Collection. Museum of Fine Arts Courtesy Photo
MFAH:Claude Monet, Boats on the Beach at Étretat
MFAH: Paul Signac, Flowering Almond Trees

While a European vacation might not be possible soon, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston has just announced they have our time-traveling ticket to the beaches and gardens of late 19th-century France.

This summer, we can stay in Texas and still journey to beautiful impressionistic worlds with the new exhibition, “Impressionism to Modernism: Monet to Matisse from the Bemberg Foundation.”

Organized by the MFAH and the Bemberg Foundation in collaboration with Manifesto Expo, “Monet to Matisse” will bring 90 paintings and works on paper from the late-19th- and early-20th-century French painting movements to Houston, the only venue for the exhibition in the U.S.

Yes, all the vivid and vibrant sights of Impressionism and Post-Impressionism, with some side trips to Symbolism and Fauvism, will be on our itinerary for this journey. The MFAH will take us on a tour of the giants the movements, including Claude Monet, Henri Matisse, Paul Cézanne, Edgar Degas, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Berthe Morisot, Paul Gauguin, Édouard Vuillard, Paul Signac, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Pierre Bonnard, and Odilon Redon.

While exploring the light and colors of Impressionism, the exhibition will also introduce museum-goers to the man who put the extraordinary collection together, Georges Bemberg. The Argentinian-born, French-raised philanthropist created the Georges Bemberg Foundation in the late 1980s to preserve one of Europe’s largest private art collections.

“Georges Bemberg followed his keen eye and personal enthusiasm for French painting when assembling this magnificent collection,” described MFAH director Gary Tinterow in a statement about the exhibition, adding “It’s a privilege to be one of the few venues in the world to share these exceptional works and introduce visitors to Mr. Bemberg’s artistic approach to collecting.”

“He was a collector of exceptional taste and sensitivity. His discernment is especially demonstrated in his acquisitions of works by the greatest French artists of the late 19th and early 20th centuries,” said Ann Dumas, the Museum’s consulting curator of European art.

Today the collection resides in Toulouse, France at Hôtel d’Assézat, a restored Renaissance mansion built in the 16th century for merchant Pierre Assézat, but for the summer of 2021 some of that collection will take have their own get-away adventure in Houston.

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“Impressionism to Modernism: Monet to Matisse from the Bemberg Foundation” runs June 27-September 19 at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.