Anders Zorn: A European Artist Seduces America; Boston's Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum's 23-Year-Old Theft
Paris, 1892, Oil on canvas; Boston, Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum
The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum will present Anders Zorn: A European Artist Seduces America, the first international loan exhibition and catalogue dedicated to this Swedish artist in the United States in more than 25 years. The first historic exhibition in the Hostetter Gallery in the new Renzo Piano-designed extension of the Museum will present new international scholarship about an artist who was considered among the most prolific and talented artists living around 1900. Although highly esteemed by his contemporaries on both sides of the Atlantic, Zorn is little known to the general public in the US today.
"Anders Zorn is one of the most significant artists of the Belle Époque," said Anne Hawley, Norma Jean Calderwood Director of the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. "The Museum boasts the finest collection of Zorn’s works in the United States, which will set the framework for this significant exhibition."
The exhibition will investigate how Zorn became an international artist who set the groundwork for modern art. It will reveal the artist’s achievement in a variety of areas such as his rapidly developing style from around 1890 to the early 1900s and his variety of subjects. It will be organized in five different segment areas including "Zorn and Gardner," "Society Portraits," "In the City," "Country Life," and "Artists’ Studios."
Twenty-four paintings are featured in the exhibition together with twenty-two drawings, photographs and letters; and gifts that Anders Zorn gave Gardner in 1894.
Highlights include Isabella Stewart Gardner in Venice (1894) and distinguished loans that have never been shown in America such as Night Effect (1895) on loan from Gothenburg Museum of Art, Göteborg, Sweden, and The Ice Skater (1898); on loan from Zornmuseet, Mora, Sweden. In addition, major paintings will come together for the first time including items from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York and the Art Institute, Chicago. The exhibition will center on strong holdings in the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, highlighting the central role of Isabella Gardner as a patron of Zorn in America.
"This exhibition is an opportunity to once again reveal Anders Zorn, this intoxicating artist who personifies the promises and contradictions of his time," said Oliver Tostmann, William and Lia Poorvu Curator of the Collection at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. "It will be a rare look at a span of Zorn’s work in America and Europe, giving a glimpse at what made Zorn so prolific, and yet today [he] is often overlooked."
A fully illustrated 200-page catalogue will accompany the exhibition including 120 color images of artwork. It will include essays from international scholars who examine Zorn’s life, work, and success. A series of related public programs will complement the exhibition. The range of talks will investigate topics such as Zorn in the context of other Nordic Artists in the 1890s, as well as Zorn’s relationship with Isabella Stewart Gardner.
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