French Moderns: Monet to Matisse, 1850-1950 Coming to Davenport, Iowa’s Figge Art Museum

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January 26, 2018
Davenport, Iowa (January 23, 2018) – From October 9, 2018 to January 6, 2019, the Figge Art Museum in Davenport, Iowa will present the exhibition French Moderns: Monet to Matisse, 1850-1950 from the world-renowned collection of the Brooklyn Museum in New York. The exhibition, organized by the Brooklyn Museum, brings together 60 paintings and sculptures by some of the world’s most treasured artists including Monet, Cézanne, Renoir, Matisse, Degas, Rodin and many more. Members of the Figge Art Museum will be allowed access to the exhibition during a special member preview weekend on October 6-7 and the exhibition will open to the public beginning October 9. 
French Moderns: Monet to Matisse, 1850-1950 tells the story of one of the most exciting centuries in the history of art, when artists turned from the academic art tradition to focus on subjects from everyday life, portrayed with vivid colors and bold brushstrokes. It begins with the academic painters of the 19th century, such as Gerome and Bouguereau, then moves on to artists who turned to nature for their inspiration, such as Corot, Millet and Boudin, paving the way for the experiments of the Impressionists. It features works by the leading Impressionists and colleagues, such as Morisot, Sisley and Caillebotte, as well as artists from England, Italy and Germany who aligned themselves with the movement. Also included are iconic sculptural works by Auguste Rodin and Edgar Degas.
The Impressionists ushered in a period of tremendous innovation in the visual arts. Matisse, Bonnard, Chagall, Leger and Dufy pioneered new bold approaches to image-making, as did artists from elsewhere in Europe, such as Gabrielle Munter and Chaim Soutine, all included in the exhibition.
The Figge will offer a variety of programs related to the exhibition including lectures, films, exhibition tours, free family day, classes and more to be announced. For complete details, visit as the exhibition opening date nears.
French Moderns: Monet to Matisse, 1850-1950 will be the centerpiece of a community-wide celebration of all things French in the Quad Cities, with special programs presented by artsBASICS, Augustana Teaching Museum of Art, Augustana College, Ballet Quad Cities, Bereskin Fine Art Gallery and Studio, Bettendorf Public Library, Butterworth Center & Deere-Wiman House, Creative Arts Academy, Davenport Public Library, Jewish Federation of the Quad Cities, KWQC-TV, Living Proof Exhibit, Moline Public Library, Muscatine Art Center, Nahant Marsh, Putnam Museum, Quad City Arts, Quad City Botanical Center, Quad Cities CVB, Quad City Symphony Orchestra, Quad-City Times, River Music Experience, Rock Island Public Library, St. Ambrose University Catich and Morrissey Galleries, St. Ambrose University, WIU-QC, WQPT-TV and more to be announced. From special classes, talks and reading groups about the period to special French-inspired menus, wine tastings, movies and performances, 
there will be French-inspired programming throughout the fall and winter of 2018-19. A complete listing of partner programs will be available at this fall.
“The presentation of French Moderns marks a new milestone in the Figge’s ongoing efforts to bring world-class art exhibitions to all the people of the Quad Cities,” says Executive Director Tim Schiffer, “and would not have been possible without generous supporters to a newly created Major Exhibitions Endowment. This is a perpetual fund that will be used to support the presentation of world-class art exhibitions at the Figge Art Museum every other year in perpetuity.”
“This is a truly world-class exhibition and an opportunity for the people of the Quad Cities to view masterpieces of modern art at no additional charge, right here at their own local museum,” says Director of Development Raelene Pullen. “It’s not often you have the opportunity to take a walk through one of the most exciting centuries in the history of art, but this exhibition allows that privilege for visitors of all ages and backgrounds.”
French Moderns: Monet to Matisse, 1850–1950 is organized by Rich Aste, former Curator of European Art, and Lisa Small, Senior Curator European Art, Brooklyn Museum. A fully illustrated catalogue accompanies the exhibition and will be available for purchase in the Figge Museum Store along with other French-inspired items.
The exhibition is sponsored by the Hunt and Diane Harris Family Foundation, Genesis Health System, Mark and Rita Bawden, Debby and Hugh Stafford, John and Kay Hall. Media Sponsors are Quad-City Times, KWQC-TV6 and WQPT-TV.
About the Figge Art Museum:
The Figge Art Museum is located on the Mississippi River in downtown Davenport at 225 West Second Street. Hours are from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday and Sundays noon to 5 p.m. Thursdays the museum is open until 9 p.m. Admission to the museum and tour is $7 for adults, $6 for seniors and students with ID and $4 children ages 4-12. Admission is free to Figge members and institutional members, and free to all on Thursday evenings from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. The Figge Café is open 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Tuesday-Friday. To contact the museum, please call 563.326.7804, or visit

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