CLEVELAND MUSEUM OF ART
Beaver group grown from a small beginning, and today repre sents in all its beauty and interest for the children the offering of Mr. Talmage, the student of beaver life, and of Mr. Keller, the Cleveland artist who painted for it an unusually successful background. The group represents a scene by the spillway of a beaver dam in the early dawn, with the sun just appearing above the hori zon, and the mists rising from the rushing stream which is in springtime flood. A pair of beavers are breakfasting after a night’s work on the dam, while a third beaver is seen swimming across the swirling waters to his hut on the other side of the stream. This group makes its appeal in many ways, and is a study in composition in additon to all its other attractions. F. A. W.
FRENCH PAINTINGS OF THE LATTER NINETEENTH CENTURY
During the summer months from July i3th to September i5th, Clevelanders will be given a very unusual opportunity to see the work of the French painters of the latter nineteenth century. Cleveland owners have been good enough to loan from their collections examples which will enable the observer to under stand clearly the progressive changes in the art of that period. With these will be exhibited pictures of these schools owned by the Museum. There are examples of Corot, Courbet and Manet but the emphasis has been particularly laid upon the Impres sionists. Eight canvases of Monet will give an excellent oppor tunity to study his work and Renoir will be represented by six fine pieces typical of all phases of his work; one La Baign euse of the year i888, a picture of outstanding importance. Others of the Impressionists will be well represented, Pissarro, Sisley, Guillaumin and also Boudin and Yongkind, who can not be classed as pure Impressionists, but who worked along the same general lines. Two important canvases by Degas will be shown and there will be six or seven fine examples of Monti celli. A fine canvas by Cezanne, a picture which ranks as one of his masterpieces, will exemplify the best in Post-Impres sionist art. Duling the nineteenth century French painting underwent many changes and developments.
The classic spirit of the Empire period was replaced by the vigorous landscape work of Dupre, Diaz, Millet, and Rousseau, but art still remained a tradition of the studio. Corot marked the change from this spirit. He took painting out of doors and brought to it the beauty and clarity of light. Courbet in turn became disgusted with the allegory and the romantic elements so prevalent in the salon painting of his time. He sought for objects in nature in which there was a spirit of life. His power lay in representing things as they were, not as they seemed to be. The artists of the day could not understand him, could not understand work which was not based upon literature or upon the great legends of the past. While Corot and Courbet are but figures that mark the transi tion, certain of their ideas led the way to, and were an inspira tion for, the young men whose work was to make the second half of the nineteenth century a memorable one in the hiistory of painting, and who laid a foundation for the art of today. Manet carried the search for reality further. He entirely dis regarded the traditional in subject and discarded conventional chiaroscuro. He diffused his light, laying simple colors side by side in broad masses instead of working the tones carefully to gether in the skillful transition. The original group of theImpressionists,Pissarro,Monet,Sisley, Guillaumin and later Renoir, carried the ideas of these painters to a fuller development.
The treatment of light became with them a study of consuming interest. They sought to render upon canvas the first impression upon the senses,-the first im pingement of an object upon the retina. Working through long years and at first against almost complete public disapproval they finally won their way to a general acceptance and popu larity in the latter eighties and early nineties. Light was their primary study. Color was laid on in small areas, side by side, pure color with a complete division of tone. It was thus left to the eye to combine these tones and achieve the effect of reality. The discovery of Monet that shadows were color was carried to its last logical conclusion. The danger was that paintings might tend to become a merely tour deforce of light but Monet and the originators of the movement avoided this tendency by the purely personal character of their work. Monet is represented by one Brittany Coast subject, by a garden picture at Giverny, by one of the Nympheas series and by a most important group of four of the Thames series.
Renoir, the representative of the Impressionist group in figure subjects, has two of his landscapes in the collection but the majority of the pieces show his study of light and the human figure. In the earlier years at the same time that the Impressionists were working Boudin and Yongkind were following somewhat the. same lines but were never classed as one of the original group. They sought rather to escape the stigma and unpopu larity of their brother artists. Degas also could not be termed a pure Impressionist but his drawing marks him as one of the great masters of definitive lines in all time. He sought his own personal development in treatment of the ballet, the race course and the bath. There are two of his characteristic ballet subjects in the exhibition, and a fine pastel of his pupil, Mary Cassatt, owned by the Museum.
The means which the Impressionists used to render vivid the first impression of a scene upon the visual sense, brought it about of necessity that the vividness of the canvas faded with prolonged observation, the sense of brilliance and vivacity be ing renewed only by constantly recurring glances at the picture. Many of the artists felt that there must be some means of over coming what seemed to them a defect. From this search de veloped a group of men who sought the sustained impression. This group was logically called the Post-Impressionists. Ce zanne was the great master in this movement, working out the filndamentals of mass and volume in relation to light. W. M. M.
The new group of Korean pottery lately purchased by John L. Severance and presented to the Museum augments the small but important group of Korean pottery which is a part of the Wor cester R. Warner Collection. Taken together these two gifts form a nearly complete sequence of the various types of Korean pottery known as Korai ware. The examples are not later than 920 A. D. and range from that time until I392, the termination of the Korai Dynasty, from whence it takes its name. During September a special installation of this material together with other examples of early Korean Art will be shown in Gallery X. There will be an exhibition of paintings by The Group of Seven, Canadian painters, in Gallery X from July seventh to August thirty-first. This includes paintings by: F. Carmichael L. S. Harris, A. Y. Jackson, F. H. Johnston, A. Lismer, J. E. H. MacDonald and T. Thompson, who represent the best in the modern movement of Canadian art. The exhibition is being shown in many of the museums of America, and should enable Clevelanders to appreciate and understand more fully the aims and achievements of Canadian artists of today. Beginning on July seventh and continuing throughout the summer Gallery XI will contain the most complete showing of the etchings of Charles A. Platt that has been made. The collec tion has been loaned by the artist himself and is particularly interesting to Clevelanders in connection with the opening of the new Hanna Building and Theatre, which he planned. The second Annual Exhibition of the Art and Craft work of the Cleveland High Schools will be held during the summer months in the class room in the Museum.
THE SIXTEENTH ANNUAL MEETING OF THE AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF MUSEUMS
The four days’ meeting of the American Association of Mu seums, which was held at The Cleveland Museum of Art May 23rd to 26th, was significant in many respects. It was signifi cant because of the spirit of progressiveness evident in the papers and discussions, a spirit showing the tendency to make of museums vital factors in community life, to make them not mere repositories for treasures of art, science and history, but laboratories in which those treasures are held in trust for all who desire to utilize them for study and research. The meeting was significant because of the spirit of co-opera tion in evidence. The old tendency to guard jealously the methods and achievements of institutions and individuals is apparently disappearing and in its place there is manifest a desire to give to all the benefits of experience and research. It was also significant as suggesting the place that museums are to occupy in Cleveland and the part that Cleveland is to play in museum activities. This city is just entering upon what promises to be a most important era of museum de velopment. It has an old, established historical museum that has long since outgrown its equipment; an art museum whose activities and collections already tax the capacity of its still new building; a museum of natural history with its record of achieve.