Treasures from the National Gallery of Art

L: Frank Stella, Flin Flon IV, 1969. Polymer and fluorescent polymer paint on canvas. National Gallery of Art, Washington, collection of Robert and Jane Meyerhoff. R: Auguste Renoir, Madame Henriot, c. 1876. Oil on canvas. National Gallery of Art, Washington, gift of the Adele

L: Frank Stella, Flin Flon IV, 1969. Polymer and fluorescent polymer paint on canvas. National Gallery of Art, Washington, collection of Robert and Jane Meyerhoff. R: Auguste Renoir, Madame Henriot, c. 1876. Oil on canvas. National Gallery of Art, Washington, gift of the Adele

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Avant-Garde Painters at the Legion of Honor and Postwar Masters at the de Young

SAN FRANCISCO (December 3, 2013)—The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco are pleased to announce two exhibitions showcasing stellar collections from the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC. Intimate Impressionism from the National Gallery of Art, at the Legion of Honor, features the work of 19th century avant-garde painters such as Claude Monet, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, and Vincent van Gogh. Modernism from the National Gallery of Art: The Robert & Jane Meyerhoff Collection, at the de Young, highlights the great masters of postwar art, including Ellsworth Kelly, Roy Lichtenstein, Robert Rauschenberg, Jasper Johns, and Frank Stella.

“We are so pleased to show these superb and distinctive exhibitions of European masterpieces and iconic modern and contemporary American works. Intimate Impressionism perfectly complements our collections in the Legion of Honor, and the de Young’s dramatic architecture provides an ideal setting for the distinguished Meyerhoff Collection,” says Colin B. Bailey, director of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco.
The National Gallery of Art is in the midst of renovating its East Building galleries, making these presentations in San Francisco possible. These exhibitions are the latest in a rich history of collaboration between the Fine Arts Museums and the National Gallery dating back to the 1940s.

“The National Gallery of Art is delighted to share our masterpieces with the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, providing thousands of visitors an opportunity to experience the Gallery’s celebrated collections,” says Earl A. Powell III, director of the National Gallery of Art.

Intimate Impressionism from the National Gallery of Art
Legion of Honor
March 29 – August 3, 2014

Intimate Impressionism includes nearly 70 treasured paintings by 19th century avant-garde artists. This exhibition will feature a selection of intimately scaled impressionist and post-impressionist paintings, still lifes, portraits and landscapes, whose charm and fluency invite close scrutiny. These works are among the National Gallery’s most beloved paintings and usually hang in a special sequence of rooms in its East Building.

The show includes significant pictures by Édouard Manet, Claude Monet, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Camille Pissarro, Georges Seurat and Vincent van Gogh. Many paintings in the exhibition were displayed in domestic interiors, and they often became gifts shared among friends.

Most of the works in Intimate Impressionism came from the private collections formed by Ailsa Mellon Bruce and Paul Mellon, the two children of Gallery founder Andrew Mellon. The efforts of Paul and his wife, “Bunny” Mellon, on behalf of the Gallery’s collection cemented its role as one of the world’s leading repositories of French modernist painting. Ailsa’s collaboration with John Walker—chief curator of the Gallery from 1938 to 1956 and then its director until 1969—resulted in the acquisition of many celebrated masterpieces, including the impressionist and post-impressionist paintings that are at the center of this exhibition.

For more information on Intimate Impressionism from the National Gallery of Art please visit: legionofhonor.org/intimate

Exhibition organization

This exhibition is organized by the National Gallery of Art, Washington. The presentation at the Legion of Honor is made possible by: Director’s Circle: William K. Bowes, Jr. Foundation. President’s Circle: Bank of America, Clare C. McEvoy Charitable Remainder Unitrust and Jay D. McEvoy Trust, and Diane B. Wilsey. Conservator’s Circle: Mrs. George F. Jewett. Benefactor’s Circle: Christie’s, The Estate of Harriet E. Lang, Shirley Liebhaber, Anne G. McWilliams, The Selz Foundation, Inc., and The Wurzel Trust. Patron’s Circle: Sonja and Bill Davidow, Rajnikant and Helen Desai, Mr. and Mrs. William Hamilton, Greta R. Pofcher, Mary Barbara and Andrea Schultz, and David A. Wollenberg. Media Sponsors: San Francisco Chronicle | SFGate.com. Community Partners: Ghirardelli Chocolate Company and La Boulange.

Modernism from the National Gallery of Art: The Robert & Jane Meyerhoff Collection
de Young
June 7 – October 12, 2014

Modernism from the National Gallery of Art: The Robert and Jane Meyerhoff Collection includes nearly 50 works, featuring several by great postwar artists Ellsworth Kelly, Roy Lichtenstein, Robert Rauschenberg, Jasper Johns, and Frank Stella. The de Young is the exclusive venue for this exhibition, the first showing of the Meyerhoff Collection outside the greater Washington, DC, and Baltimore metro areas.

Among the featured paintings and sculptures are Frank Stella’s Flin Flon IV (1969), Jasper Johns’s Perilous Night (1982), and Roy Lichtenstein’s Painting with Statue of Liberty (1983). The centerpiece of the exhibition is Barnett Newman’s landmark series The Stations of the Cross (1958–1966), widely considered to be the artist’s most important work. The latter paintings will be presented within a discrete, chapel-like gallery so that visitors can experience them as the artist intended.

In 1987, Robert and Jane Meyerhoff of Phoenix, Maryland entered into an agreement with the National Gallery of Art providing the terms for the eventual donation of their entire collection to the Gallery.

For more information on Modernism from the National Gallery of Art please visit: deyoungmuseum.org/modernism

Exhibition organization

This exhibition is organized by the National Gallery of Art, Washington, and the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. Presenting Sponsors: Penny and James George Coulter. Director’s Circle: Estate of Dr. Charles L. Dibble. President’s Circle: Bernard Osher Foundation. Curator’s Circle: Lisa and Douglas Goldman Fund. Conservator’s Circle: National Endowment for the Arts. Benefactor’s Circle: Nion T. McEvoy. Patron’s Circle: Richard and Peggy Greenfield and the Ednah Root Foundation. The exhibition is supported by an indemnity from the Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities.

Visiting

de Young
Golden Gate Park, 50 Hagiwara Tea Garden Drive, San Francisco, CA 94118
Open 9:30 am-5:15 pm Tuesdays-Sundays; Open select holidays; Closed most Mondays

Legion of Honor
Lincoln Park, 34th Avenue & Clement Street, San Francisco, CA 94121
Open 9:30 am-5:15 pm Tuesdays-Sundays; Open select holidays; Closed most Mondays

Tickets

Tickets for Intimate Impressionism from the National Gallery of Art go on sale to the public at 9 a.m. January 14, 2014
Tickets for Modernism from the National Gallery of Art go on sale to the public at 9 a.m. March 11, 2014

About the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco

The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, comprising the de Young in Golden Gate Park and the Legion of Honor in Lincoln Park, are the largest public arts institution in San Francisco. 

The de Young originated from the 1894 California Midwinter International Exposition and was established as the Memorial Museum. Thirty years later, it was renamed in honor of Michael H. de Young, a longtime champion of the museum. The present copper-clad landmark building, designed by Herzog and de Meuron, opened in October 2005. It showcases the institution’s significant collections of American painting, sculpture, and decorative arts from the seventeenth to the twenty-first centuries; art from Africa, Oceania, and the Americas; costume and textile arts; and international contemporary art. 

The Legion of Honor was inspired by the French pavilion, a replica of the Palais de la Légion d’Honneur in Paris, at San Francisco’s Panama-Pacific International Exposition of 1915. The museum opened in 1924 in the Beaux Arts–style building designed by George Applegarth on a bluff overlooking the Golden Gate Bridge. Its holdings span four thousand years and include European painting, sculpture, and decorative arts; ancient art from the Mediterranean basin; and the largest collection of works on paper in the American West.

Images from all exhibitions and museums available upon request.

Media Contacts

Erin Garcia, egarcia@famsf.org
Arlo Crawford, acrawford@famsf.org