Paris: Notre-Dame and Beyond
Drawn entirely from the McNay’s collection, Paris: Notre-Dame and Beyond celebrates Paris monuments and marvels with more than 30 artworks depicting the City of Light, on view through February 23, 2020.
“The fire at the cathedral of Notre-Dame this year served as a reminder of the special place Paris holds in the hearts and minds of people around the world,” said Lyle W. Williams, Curator of Prints and Drawings. “Even those who have not traveled to the city know it as an iconic world center of culture, history, art, and cuisine.”
Highlights include eight large scale color prints by one of the finest color lithographers of the 19th century, Henri Rivière. One of these offers a soaring view of Paris from the heights of Notre-Dame. Gothic Revival architect Eugène Viollet-le-Duc’s beloved spire, which collapsed in the April fire, is hauntingly visible as it towers over the transept of the cathedral.
This exhibition also complements the McNay’s installation Mary Cassatt’s Women, on view in the Peggy Pitman Mays Gallery through February 9, 2020. While Cassatt’s art focused on an interior, domestic, and familial world, the works in Paris: Notre-Dame and Beyond feature cityscapes during the Belle Epoque (1870-1914), an era of great peace and prosperity during which Cassatt lived and worked in France.
Paris: Notre-Dame and Beyond is accompanied by a historical video by the Lumière brothers, featuring the main façade of Notre-Dame, the Eiffel Tower, and even a moving sidewalk popularized by the 1900 Exposition Universelle. This modern marvel also appears in Félix Vallotton’s woodcuts of the Exposition, on view nearby.
This exhibition is organized for the McNay Art Museum by Lyle W. Williams, Curator of Prints and Drawings.
Lead funding is most generously provided by the Elizabeth Huth Coates Exhibition Endowment and the Arthur and Jane Stieren Fund for Exhibitions. Additional funding is provided by the Louis A. and Frances B. Wagner Lecture Series and the William Randall Hearst Endowed Fund for Education Programs.