Read on for a sneak peek inside the exhibition that celebrates the era of opulence in Paris 1900: City of Entertainment at the Cincinnati Art Museum.
Experience the splendor of the French capital at turn of the twentieth century in Paris 1900: City of Entertainment, on view at the Cincinnati Art Museum from March 1–May 12, 2019. Organized by the Petit Palais Museum of Fine Arts with additional loans from other institutions in the City of Paris Museums, this exhibition presents more than 200 works of art made at the turn of the century in the vibrant and rapidly changing city.
In the spirit of the landmark International Exposition of 1900 that transformed the city and drew 51 million visitors, the exhibition is intended to introduce the American public to the Belle Époque (“Beautiful Era”) of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, a period known for fantasy, excess and boundless faith in progress through technology and design. The period gave rise to forms of entertainment that remain vital today, such as cabaret, cinema and even the bicycle.
Paintings and prints by Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Camille Pissarro and Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec will join sculptures by Auguste Rodin, Antoine Bourdelle and Camille Claudel. The dual legacy of artist and actress Sarah Bernhardt is explored, alongside a rare suite of Art Nouveau furniture and celebrated examples of art pottery and glass. Collectively, these works give a sense of the wide range of creative endeavor that characterized the cultural hub of Europe.
Paris 1900 immerses visitors in the era’s sparkling atmosphere of elegance, pleasure and festivity. Iconic images from Parisian cafes and cabarets, including the Moulin Rouge, show popular sides of Parisian culture that were often closely intertwined with the fine arts. Clips from early films, a medium that was just beginning to find broad appeal in 1900, further bring the city to life.
“We are thrilled to bring to Cincinnati a truly immersive look at turn-of-the-century Paris, drawing on the foremost collections of this material from the City of Paris Museums. From the organic beauty of Art Nouveau ornament, to the incomparable style of Parisian women, from bohemian café and cabaret culture to the pursuits of high society, and especially works by the great artists of the age—Rodin and Toulouse-Lautrec, alongside outstanding artists and designers whose names are less well known today—this show is sure to delight all who visit,” says Peter Jonathan Bell, Cincinnati Art Museum Associate Curator of European Paintings, Sculpture and Drawings.
The Cincinnati Art Museum is the second of three partners in the United States to present this exhibition, which was originally presented at the Petit Palais in 2014. Paris 1900: City of Entertainment is on view at the Frist Art Museum in Nashville, Tennessee, until January 6. After the Cincinnati run, the exhibition will be on view at the Portland Art Museum in Oregon from June 8 through September 8, 2019.
This exhibition is presented by CFM International. It is organized with the generous support of the Harold C. Schott Foundation. Paris 1900: City of Entertainment will be on view in the Western & Southern galleries (galleries 232 and 233). It is organized by the Petit Palais Museum of Fine Arts, with exceptional loans from the Musée Carnavalet–History of Paris and the Palais Galliera Museum of Fashion, Paris Musées.
Tickets for Paris 1900: City of Entertainment are free for museum members. Tickets will soon be available for purchase by the general public at the Cincinnati Art Museum front desk and online at cincinnatiartmuseum.org. Photography is permitted, but no flash. On social media, use the hashtag #Paris1900.