October 25, 2013

Huntington Museum of Art presents “Barbizon” exhibit

The Huntington Museum of Art presents the exhibit Barbizon from Oct. 26, 2013, through June 29, 2014, featuring works from HMA's permanent collection.

The artists of the Barbizon School differed in age, working technique, artistic background, and lifestyle. The Barbizon School was not an official art academy, but rather an association that serendipitously formed beginning in the 1820s in the Forest of Fontainebleau, and the many hamlets surrounding the forest – especially the small town of Barbizon. At the time, the Forest of Fontainebleau was a dense forest of 42,000 acres. A number of artists took up residence there, some year-round, many just for the summer. All came to escape the city and its encroaching industrialized society. These artists included Théodore Rousseau, Jean-Françoise Millet, Narcisse Diaz de la Pena, Camille Corot, Charles-Françoise Daubigny and many others who concentrated on landscape and scenes of rural life. Collectively these artistic pioneers championed landscape painting at a time when the French art academies and the official salon did not.

Artists of the Barbizon School were particularly admired by American collectors, and were a particular favorite of one of the Huntington Museum of Art’s founders, Herbert Fitzpatrick. In 1952 he donated more than 25 important paintings by artists of the Barbizon School. In subsequent years, other area collectors have generously added to this legacy collection, including Mary H. Resener, Dr. and Mrs. Don H. Titus, and Dr. John and Amber Haid. These French artists who pioneered painting out-of-doors greatly influenced, and were eventually eclipsed by a younger generation of artists – the impressionists.

This exhibit is generously sponsored by the Isabelle Gwynn and Robert Daine Exhibition Endowment; West Virginia Division of Culture and History; and National Endowment for the Arts, with approval from the West Virginia Commission on the Arts.

For more information on events at HMA, visit www.hmoa.org or call (304) 529-2701. HMA is fully accessible.

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