NEW ORLEANS, LA-Seeing Nature: Landscape Masterworks from the Paul G. Allen Family Collection features 39 masterpieces exploring the evolution of European and American landscape painting from the collection of Paul G. Allen, Microsoft co-founder and philanthropist.
This exhibition presents masterworks spanning nearly four hundred years—from Jan Brueghel the Younger’s series devoted to the five senses to Canaletto’s celebrated views of Venice to landscapes by innovators including Joseph Mallord William Turner, Paul Cézanne, and Gustav Klimt. Paintings by Thomas Moran, Edward Hopper, Georgia O’Keeffe, and others provide an American perspective on landscapes at home and abroad.
Seeing Nature began its national exhibition at the Portland Art Museum in October 2015, where it drew a significant audience over its three month run. It then traveled to the Phillips Collection in Washington D.C. and Minneapolis Institute of Art. Following its run at New Orleans Museum of Art it will close at the Seattle Art Museum in early 2017.
“Seeing Nature presents an exceptional opportunity for NOMA visitors to see works of art by some of the most influential artists in history. These paintings, which have never been displayed together publicly before, offer a compelling view of how artists working in an array of styles have interpreted the landscape tradition over the last four centuries,” said Susan M. Taylor, The Montine McDaniel Freeman Director. “A highlight for visitors will be Birch Forest, 1903, a rare landscape by Austrian painter Gustav Klimt, who was known for his Viennese society portraits. This will be the first time a work by Klimt has been on view at NOMA.”
Seeing Nature explores the development of landscape painting from direct interpretation of the natural world to expressions of artists’ experiences with their surroundings on land and sea. The exhibition reveals the power of landscape to locate the viewer in time and place—to record, explore, and understand the natural and man-made world.
“The exhibition’s ranging view of landscape offers a remarkable opportunity to consider the meaning and role of landscape and art,” said Vanessa Schmid, Senior Research Curator for European Art. “These works of art pay homage to the individual experience of place balanced by the universal role of landscape in the human experience.”
In the last quarter of the 19th century, the early Impressionists sought to replicate the sensation and experience of nature expressed in a sketchy execution, which suggested a moment of perception. This collection is particularly strong in the works of Monet: five great Monet landscapes spanning thirty years are featured, from views of the French countryside to one of his late immersive representations of water lilies, Le Bassin aux Nymphéas of 1919. Cézanne and fellow Post-Impressionists used increasingly abstract and geometric forms and juxtapositions of pure, intense colors toward emotional effect to create works such as La Montagne Sainte-Victoire (1888-90). The last part of the exhibition explores the paintings of artists working in the complexity of the 20th century. Artists as diverse as Georgia O’Keeffe, Edward Hopper, David Hockney, Ed Ruscha, and Gerhard Richter bring fresh perspectives to the landscape tradition.
Seeing Nature: Landscape Masterworks from the Paul G. Allen Family Collection is co-organized by Portland Art Museum, the Seattle Art Museum and the Paul G. Allen Family Collection. The New Orleans presentation is sponsored by the New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau.
About NOMA and the Besthoff Sculpture Garden
The New Orleans Museum of Art, founded in 1910 by Isaac Delgado, houses nearly 40,000 art objects encompassing 5,000 years of world art. Works from the permanent collection, along with continuously changing special exhibitions, are on view in the museum’s 46 galleries Fridays from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Last admission is 45 minutes before closing.
The adjoining Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden features work by over 60 artists, including several of the 20th century’s master sculptors. The Sculpture Garden is open seven days a week: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Last admission is 45 minutes before closing. The New Orleans Museum of Art and the Besthoff Sculpture Garden are fully accessible to handicapped visitors and wheelchairs are available from the front desk. For more information about NOMA, call (504) 658-4100 or visit www.noma.org. Wednesdays are free admission days for Louisiana residents, courtesy of The Helis Foundation. (May not include special exhibitions.) Teenagers (ages 13-19) receive free admission every day through the end of the year, courtesy of The Helis Foundation.
About Paul G. Allen
Four decades after co-founding Microsoft, entrepreneur and philanthropist Paul G. Allen is still exploring the frontiers of technology and human knowledge, and working to change the future. In 1986 he formed Vulcan Inc., his private company which oversees all his philanthropic and business activities including but not limited to Vulcan Aerospace, Vulcan Capital, Vulcan Real Estate, Vulcan Productions, Vulcan Philanthropy, the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation, the Seattle Art Fair, Upstream, as well as sports teams, research institutes, museums and arts and entertainment venues.
With a lifetime personal giving totaling over $2 billion, Mr. Allen is dedicated to tackling some of the world’s biggest challenges through his philanthropic initiatives and business ventures. Mr. Allen is deeply invested locally in his hometown of Seattle and the Pacific Northwest while taking measured steps resulting in global impact. Mr. Allen is passionate about exploring new frontiers, fueling discovery and experimenting on multiple fronts. To learn more, visit PaulAllen.com.