Featuring more than 70 works by French and European masters such as Degas, Manet, Monet, Rousseau and Van Gogh, this exhibition celebrates Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon’s extraordinary gift of 19th and early 20th century French art to the VMFA. After first becoming interested in British sporting art, Paul Mellon began to collect 19th-century French art in the 1940s with his second wife, Rachel Lambert Mellon. While their collection largely consists of Impressionist paintings, it also includes masterpieces from every important school of French art—from Romanticism and the Barbizon School through Cubism and the School of Paris. Taken together, these works exemplify the Mellons’ personal vision and highly original collecting strategies, which provide a context for understanding this unique collection.
The exhibition will reproduce the invigorating experience of the Mellons’ collection, in which each work resonates with and gains greater strength from its lovingly created context. “Van Gogh, Monet, Degas” is presented in a series of sections including Cyphers of Modernity, Horses, Flowers, Views of Paris, People, Water, Interiors and Tables, The French Countryside, The Transformation of the Ordinary and VMFA: Toward Impressionism. Opening with Cyphers of Modernity, visitors will be introduced to two of the collection’s most characteristic paintings: Berthe Morisot’s “Young Woman Watering a Shrub” and Théodore Géricault’s “Mounted Jockey.” These paintings are emblematic of the collection in their commitment to modernism, as well as their subject matter, which appealed to Mrs. Mellon’s love of gardening and Mr. Mellon’s passion for horses and horse racing.
Ticket sales for “Van Gogh, Monet, Degas: The Mellon Collection of French Art from the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts” will begin on Wednesday, April 3at 10 a.m. OKCMOA is the exclusive regional venue for this exhibition, and demand is expected to be high. Visitors are encouraged to buy tickets early to secure their preferred day and time.
Tickets can be purchased online at okcmoa.com/vangogh, in person at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art or by calling the Museum at (405) 236-3100. Tickets for this high-demand exhibition allow visitors a 15-minute window for arrival time with slots available throughout regular Museum hours. The last ticket sold for the day will be at 4 p.m. The hours for this exhibition will be Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Thursday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m.
Tickets are $15 and include admission to the entire Museum, including OKCMOA’s permanent collection and “Dale Chihuly: Magic and Light.” The exhibition is free for Museum members and active military members (as part of Blue Star Museums). No other discounts apply. Museum memberships begin at $50. To learn more about membership, visit okcmoa.com/membership.
*Sundays in September, the Museum will open two hours early – at 10 a.m. – to accommodate as many visitors as possible before the exhibition closes Sept. 22. Tickets for these additional hours are on sale now. Two public tours have been added for Thursday, Sept. 19 at 4 and 7:30 p.m. Tour tickets for will be on sale to the public beginning Aug. 19.*
Exhibition organized by the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.