Art Institute of Chicago Extends IMPRESSIONISM, FASHION AND MODERNITY Exhibit Through 9/29


Due to the enthusiastic response to the exhibition IMPRESSIONISM, FASHION AND MODERNITY, the Art Institute has added an additional week of viewing to accommodate demand. IMPRESSIONISM, FASHION AND MODERNITY will now run through Sunday, September 29, 2013.

The Art Institute exhibition-which the Chicago Tribune called "a sophisticated and exquisite display of Impressionist masterpieces . . . as insightful as it is pleasurable" and the Chicago Sun-Timeslabeled "the biggest and most important Impressionist presentation to be on display there in nearly two decades"-has won critical praise and attracted large crowds throughout its world tour.

The groundbreaking and critically acclaimed exhibition IMPRESSIONISM, FASHION AND MODERNITY, which opened in Paris in October 2012, lands at the Art Institute this summer as the final stop on its world tour. Organized by the Art Institute of Chicago, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, and the Musée d'Orsay, Paris, the exhibition broke attendance records in Paris and has been lauded by international and national critics alike. Roberta Smith of the New York Times called the New York presentation a "thrilling, erudite show" with "visual fireworks, historical clarity, and pitch-perfect contextualizing." Vogueproclaimed the show "breathtaking" for its portrayal of "art's passionate love affair with fashion in the boulevards and salons of late 19th-century France." And now audiences in Chicago will be able to spend the summer with the first exhibition to explore the role of fashion in the revolutionary Impressionist movement.

Featuring over 75 major figure paintings by the Impressionists and their contemporaries in tandem with
the couture that inspired them, IMPRESSION, FASHION AND MODERNITY stunningly demonstrates how, in the hands of the Impressionist painters, the movement of a perfectly executed dress, the seasonal change in styles, and the increasing availability of fashionable clothing all became instruments in defining modernity. The works in the exhibition, many of them rarely or never before seen in Chicago, tell the story of late 19th-century Paris-then the world's undisputed style capital-and how its new department tores, ready-made clothing, fashion magazines, and burgeoning middle class all inspired artists seeking a new visual language to accompany their times. The exhibition includes large-scale works by luminaries such as Gustave Caillebotte, Edgar Degas, Édouard Manet, Claude Monet, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Georges Seurat, Alfred Stevens, and James Tissot. For the presentation of the exhibition in Chicago, the Art Institute collaborated with international opera director Robert Carsen to conceive an immersive installation unlike any other presented at the museum.

"IMPRESSIONISM, FASHION AND MODERNITY is precisely the type of exhibition that the Art Institute does best," said Douglas Druick, President and Eloise W. Martin Director of the museum. "With pioneering scholarship, the exhibition brings fresh perspectives to landmark works of art of the period and infuses them, and their historical era, with a new vibrancy and immediacy. IMPRESSIONISM, FASHION and MODERNITY is also a testament to our close relationship with our colleagues in Paris and New York. It would not have been possible without their generosity and collegiality, particularly Guy Cogeval, the president and director of the Musée d'Orsay."

"Working with paintings of this caliber is, of course, thrilling for a curator," said Gloria Groom, David and Mary Winton Green Curator of Nineteenth-Century European Painting and Sculpture at the Art Institute of Chicago. "But equally exciting is to be able to add dimensions to the works of art by the presentation of period dresses and accessories, many of which, thanks to exhibition curator Susan Stein, were lent by multiple departments at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Establishing the conversation between the paintings and actual artifacts-dresses, gloves, corsets, parasols-and working with Robert Carsen on their presentation have both made this exhibition a singular experience for the Art Institute."

Major funding for IMPRESSIONISM, FASHION AND MODERNITY at the Art Institute has been generously provided by Alexandra and John Nichols. "When Gloria Groom approached us four years ago about her idea for this exhibition, we were impressed by her exceptional vision and creativity to present the connection between Impressionism and fashion from the 1860s to the 1880s. We are even more excited now that Gloria's important and beautiful exhibition has come to fruition and has been seen and enjoyed by people in Paris and New York and will, very soon, be welcomed in Chicago."

Chase and J.P. Morgan are the Corporate Sponsors of the exhibition at the Art Institute.

The exhibition takes visitors deep into Paris in the second half of the 19th century. The city was then thebustling center of a rapidly changing Europe and home to scores of artists seeking to capture the pulse and nuances of modern life. The Impressionist artists found fashion to be the perfect vehicle for defining and expressing modernity. The daring shapes and cuts of dresses and suits, rapidly changing styles, and the birth of department stores and fashion magazines all embodied a modern spirit that was lived and captured by artists drawn to the dynamic city. The first exhibition to draw this connection between fashion and painting during this period, IMPRESSIONISM, FASHION AND MODERNITY charts the economic, commercial, social, and artistic changes that upended the existing order and replaced it with something more closely resembling life today.