Whistler to Cassatt - Making of an Exhibition
6:00pm, October 28, 2021 | Wichita Art Museum
Dr. Timothy Standring Curator Emeritus, Denver Art Museum
At the end of the 19th century, Paris was the artistic capital of the world. The city buzzed with art schools, private studios, galleries, and the annual Salon—then the premier venue in the global art world. Against this backdrop, American artists—seeking European training and access to prominent art dealers and collectors—sought out the City of Lights to advance their own careers.
The Fall 2021 Howard E. Wooden Lecture explores this fascinating and cosmopolitan chapter in American art. In Whistler to Cassatt: The Making of an Exhibition, Dr. Timothy Standring will give the WAM audience a behind-the-scenes look at his groundbreaking exhibition on American painters in France. The exhibition, opening at the Denver Art Museum on November 14, features WAM’s own Mary Cassatt masterpiece, Mother and Child.
In the words of curator Karl Kusserow, “Mary Cassatt is triply distinguished as among the greatest American artists, the greatest artists of the 19th century, and one of the finest female painters of the Western tradition.” Mother and Child showcases Mary Cassatt’s full genius. It combines her signature swirling brushwork, luminous color, and focus on intimate family life—a subject that she championed even as her male colleagues explored the urban Paris scenes. Mother and Child is also featured on the cover of the Denver Art Museum’s exhibition catalogue.
While discussing dazzling paintings by artists such as Cassatt, Whistler, Sargent, and others, Dr. Standring will untangle what he refers to as “the braided narrative of this lost chapter of American art history.” Why did many American artists turn to France for their training during the Age of Innocence between the American Civil War and the outbreak of the First World War? Why did some artists find life as expats preferable to returning stateside to seek their fame and fortune? And what was the reception back in the United States for American artists who had trained abroad in France?
Dr. Timothy Standring is Curator Emeritus of the Denver Art Museum. Since joining DAM in 1989, Dr. Standring has aimed to make art and art history accessible to a broader public. He has curated more than 18 exhibitions, including the blockbusters Becoming Van Gogh, Rembrandt: Painter as Printmaker, and Degas: A Passion for Perfection. His exhibition Whistler to Cassatt: American Painters in France opens in Denver before traveling to the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.
Galleries open until the talk begins.
5 pm | galleries open
6 pm | festive mingling and cash bar
6:45 pm | illustrated talk in the S. Jim and Darla Farha Great Hall.
October 28, 2021