Seeing NatureLandscape Masterworks from the Paul G. Allen Family Collection
OCT 10, 2015 – JAN 10, 2016
Portland Art Museum and Seattle Art Museum Present Major Exhibition of Masterpieces Drawn from the Paul G. Allen Family Collection
PORTLAND, Ore.—The Portland Art Museum is pleased to present a major exhibition exploring the evolution of European and American landscape painting. Seeing Nature: Landscape Masterworks from the Paul G. Allen Family Collection features 39 paintings from five centuries of masterpieces drawn from the collection of Microsoft co-founder and philanthropist Paul G. Allen.
This exhibition is co-organized by Portland Art Museum and the Seattle Art Museum, in collaboration with the Paul G. Allen Family Collection, and presents masterpieces 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 ranging from Joseph Mallord William Turner, Paul Cézanne, and Gustav Klimt to David Hockney and Gerhard Richter. Paintings by Thomas Moran, Edward Hopper, and Georgia O’Keeffe, and others provide an American perspective on landscapes at home and abroad. Seeing Nature includes five Impressionist canvases painted in France, London, and Venice by the French master Claude Monet.
“Seeing Nature offers an extraordinary opportunity to perceive the world through the gaze of some of the most important artists in history,” said Brian Ferriso, The Marilyn H. and Dr. Robert B. Pamplin Jr. Director of the Portland Art Museum, who is curating the exhibition in Portland. “These masterpieces have never before been on display together. Paul Allen is one of the Northwest’s most significant art collectors and philanthropists, and his willingness to share his landscape masterpieces with our visitors offers an unprecedented chance to be inspired by works of art.”
The exhibition premieres at the Portland Art Museum on October 10, 2015. It will then travel to The Phillips Collection in Washington, D.C, the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, and the New Orleans Museum of Art before closing at the Seattle Art Museum in early 2017.
Seeing Nature explores the development of landscape painting from a small window on the 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. Artists began to interpret the specifics of a picturesque city, a parcel of land, or dramatic natural phenomena.
In the 19th century, the early Impressionists focused on direct observation of nature. 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 his fellow Post-Impressionists used a more frankly subjective approach to create works such as La Montagne Sainte-Victoire (1888-90). The exhibition also features a rare landscape masterpiece by the Austrian painter Gustav Klimt, Birch Forest of 1903.
The last part of the exhibition explores the paintings of artists working in the complexity of the 20th century. In highly individualized ways, artists as diverse as Georgia O’Keeffe, Edward Hopper, David Hockney, Gerhard Richter and Ed Ruscha bring fresh perspectives to traditional landscape subjects.
The Museum will present a variety of related programs in conjunction with Seeing Nature. The Museum is collaborating with Oregon Health & Science University’s Brain Institute and Northwest Noggin, as well as other regional partners, to bring a neuroscience lens to the Museum’s featured exhibition. Through “The Nature of Seeing,” an interpretive gallery inside the exhibition and a series of public programs, visitors will have unique opportunities to explore what emerging research tells us about how our brains respond when we view landscape paintings and the natural world.
Seeing Nature: Landscape Masterworks from the Paul G. Allen Family Collection is co-organized by Portland Art Museum and Seattle Art Museum with the Paul G. Allen Family Collection, and curated in Portland by Brian Ferriso, The Marilyn H. and Robert B. Pamplin Jr. Director.
This exhibition is supported by an indemnity from the Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities.
About the Seattle Art Museum
The Seattle Art Museum provides a welcoming place for people to connect with art and to consider its relationship to their lives. SAM is one museum in three locations: the Seattle Art Museum in downtown Seattle, the Asian Art Museum in Volunteer Park, and the Olympic Sculpture Park on the downtown waterfront. SAM collects, preserves, and exhibits objects from across time and across cultures, exploring the dynamic connections between past and present. For more than eight decades, the Seattle Art Museum has been one of the Pacific Northwest’s leading visual arts institutions. The collections of the Seattle Art Museum number approximately 25,000 objects and are distinguished in the areas of African art, American art, Ancient Mediterranean and Islamic art, Asian art, decorative arts, European art, modern and contemporary art, Native and Meso-American art, and Oceanic and Aboriginal art. The museum has a membership of more than 35,000 households and serves more than 750,000 visitors annually at its three sites. For more information, call 206-654- 3100 or visitsam.org.
About the Portland Art Museum
The seventh oldest museum in the United States, the Portland Art Museum is internationally recognized for its permanent collection and ambitious special exhibitions drawn from the Museum’s holdings and the world’s finest public and private collections. The Museum’s collection of more than 45,000 objects, displayed in 112,000 square feet of galleries, reflects the history of art from ancient times to today. The collection is distinguished for its holdings of arts of the native peoples of North America, English silver, and the graphic arts. An active collecting institution dedicated to preserving great art for the enrichment of future generations, the Museum devotes 90 percent of its galleries to its permanent collection. The Museum’s campus of landmark buildings, a cornerstone of Portland’s cultural district, includes the Jubitz Center for Modern and Contemporary Art, the Gilkey Center for Graphic Arts, the Schnitzer Center for Northwest Art, the Northwest Film Center, and the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde Center for Native American Art. With a membership of more than 22,000 households and serving more than 350,000 visitors annually, the Museum is a premier venue for education in the visual arts. For information on exhibitions and programs, call 503-226-2811 or visit portlandartmuseum.org
About Paul G. Allen
Paul G. Allen is a leading investor, entrepreneur and philanthropist who has given more than $1.5 billion to charitable causes over his lifetime. He founded Vulcan Inc. in 1986 with Jody Allen to oversee his business and philanthropic activities. Today, that Seattle-based company oversees a wide range of Allen’s investments and projects throughout the world. In 2003, he created the Allen Institute for Brain Science to accelerate understanding of the human brain in health and disease and, a decade later, launched the expansion of the Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence to explore opportunities for development in the field of AI. He is the cofounder of The Paul G. Allen Family Foundation, which has awarded more than $494 million to nonprofits in the Pacific Northwest and beyond. For more information, go to www.pgafamilyfoundation.org and www.vulcan.com.
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PRESENTING SPONSOR: Vulcan Inc. LEAD SPONSORS: The Mark Family; Laura S. Meier; Andrée H. Stevens. MAJOR SPONSORS: Christie’s; Ronna and Eric Hoffman; Walter Clay Hill and Family Foundation. SPONSORS: Helen Jo and Bill Whitsell; The Boeing Company; Cyndy and Edward Maletis; Oregon Health & Science University; The Harold & Arlene Schnitzer CARE Foundation/Arlene Schnitzer/Jordan Schnitzer; Nani S. Warren / The Swigert Warren Foundation; Jim and Susan Winkler. SUPPORTERS: David and Dolorosa Margulis; Robert Trotman and William Hetzelson; Rena Tonkin and Cheryl Tonkin; The Acorn Fund of OCF; Anonymous.
EDUCATION SUPPORTERS: Wells Fargo; Elizabeth Lilley.