Georges Roux, Night Party at the Universal Exhibition in 1889, under the Eiffel Tower
Georges Roux (1855–1929). Night Party at the Universal Exhibition in 1889, under the Eiffel Tower, 1889. Paris, Musée Carnavalet. © Musée Carnavalet / Roger-Viollet
Eugène-Samuel Grasset, Paul Vever, and Henri Vever. "Assyrian" Comb, ca. 1900
Eugène-Samuel Grasset (1845–1917), Paul Vever (1851–1915), and Henri Vever (1854–1942). “Assyrian” Comb, ca. 1900. Horn, repoussé gold, cloisonné enamel, and sapphires. 5 7/8 x 3 7/8 x 3/8 in. Musée des Beaux-Arts de la Ville de Paris, Petit Palais. © Patrick Pierrain / Petit Palais / Roger-Viollet
Georges Paul Leroux. The International Exhibition’s Palace of Optics, 1900
Georges Paul Leroux (1877-1957). The International Exhibition’s Palace of Optics, 1900. Color lithograph, 31 3/4 x 23 5/8 in., Musée Carnavalet. © Petit Palais / Roger-Viollet

Paris 1900

City of Entertainment

JUN 8 - SEP 8, 2019

Main Building, Floors 1 & 2, Galleries 104, 109, 110, 209

Travel back to Paris at the dawn of the 20th century and experience the splendor of the sparkling French capital as it hosted the world for the International Exposition of 1900. This was the height of the Belle Époque, a period of peace and prosperity in France when fine art, fashion, and entertainment flourished as never before. Fifty-one million visitors from around the world attended the Exposition and flooded the city, where they enjoyed its posh restaurants, opulent opera house, artistic cabarets, and well-tended parks. For the French, it was an opportunity to show off their prowess in the arts, sciences, and new technology, and to highlight what made Paris unique from rivals London and Berlin.

Inspired by an exhibition originally presented in 2014 at the Petit Palais in Paris, Paris 1900 re-creates the look and feel of the era through more than 200 paintings, decorative art objects, textiles, posters, photographs, jewelry, sculpture, and film, and will plunge visitors into the atmosphere of the Belle Époque. These objects, drawn from several City of Paris museums—including the Petit Palais, the Musée Carnavalet, the Palais Galliera, the Musée Bourdelle, and the Maison de Victor Hugo—form a portrait of a vibrant and swiftly changing city.

The splendor of Paris unfolds in six sections or vignettes. The visitor enters “Paris: The World’s Showcase,” which highlights the International Exposition of 1900 and the sweeping architectural and technological changes made to the cityscape to welcome the new century. As Paris was also the self-proclaimed “Capital of the Arts,” the second section of the exhibition examines the vast range of styles and talent present in the city in the form of sculpture, painting, and prints. Viewers will delight to work by well-known artists such as Camille Pissarro and Berthe Morisot and will discover compelling paintings and sculpture by lesser-known masters of the time.

The seductive Art Nouveau style, so popular in the decorative arts, is the focus of the next vignette, which features furniture, jewelry, pottery, posters, ironwork, and fans that exhibit the whiplash curve and natural inspiration of this international style.

French fashion and style were at the heart of Parisian pride, and the next section examines the cult and myth of la Parisienne—the ideal French woman—through textiles, paintings, prints, and decorative arts. Strolling through the city was considered one of the great Parisian pastimes and is explored in “A Walk in Paris.” New modes of transport, such as the omnibus and the newly invented bicycle, competed with horses, pedestrians, and automobiles as the 20th century unfolded. The final vignette, “Paris by Night,” features a selection of the vast amusements that made Paris the center of European entertainment, from lowly cabarets to the most refined theaters and restaurants. The exhibition concludes with a look at a great French invention of the Belle Époque: the moving picture. Clips from early film animate the exhibition and allow the viewer to rediscover the dawn of cinema.

Programs will explore the cultural and historical context of the exhibition, in partnership with community and cultural organizations including Alliance Française and Chamber Music Northwest. Mary Weaver Chapin, Ph.D., Curator of Prints and Drawings, will present the opening lecture, “Paris 1900: Spectacle and Celebration.” Carol Ockman, Ph.D., Robert Sterling Clark Professor of Art at Williams College, will present a talk on Sarah Bernhardt, the reigning queen of the stage of the Belle Époque. Northwest Film Center screenings will illuminate Paris at the birth of cinema, and additional programming will explore the role of World’s Fairs in the crafting of national and racial identities, with a focus on Portland’s Lewis and Clark Centennial Exposition of 1905. Visitors can learn more about the exhibition in the companion publication Paris 1900: City of Entertainment by Cécilie Champy-Vinas, Curator of Sculpture, Petit Palais Museum of Fine Arts, Paris.

Exhibition organized by the Petit Palais Museum of Fine Arts, with exceptional loans from the Musée Carnavalet – History of Paris and the Palais Galliera Museum of Fashion, Paris Musées. Curated in Portland by Mary Weaver Chapin, Ph.D., Curator of Prints and Drawings.

Paris Musees - Les Musees de la Ville de Paris

Jun
29
Sat
Public Tour: Paris 1900
Jun 29 @ 12:30 pm – 1:30 pm
Public Tour: Paris 1900

Explore the Museum with a docent skilled in bringing art to life.

Public tours depart from the Park Avenue entrance.

Tours are free for members or with Museum admission, and free for children age 17 and younger.

Presented in conjunction with the special exhibition Paris 1900: City of Entertainment.

Jun
30
Sun
Family Tour: Paris 1900
Jun 30 @ 12:30 pm – 1:30 pm
Family Tour: Paris 1900

Explore the Museum with a docent skilled in bringing art to life.

Public tours depart from the Park Avenue entrance.

Tours are free for members or with Museum admission, and free for children age 17 and younger.

Presented in conjunction with the special exhibition Paris 1900: City of Entertainment.

Jul
2
Tue
Public Tour: Paris 1900
Jul 2 @ 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm
Public Tour: Paris 1900

Explore the Museum with a docent skilled in bringing art to life.

Public tours depart from the Park Avenue entrance.

Tours are free for members or with Museum admission, and free for children age 17 and younger.

Presented in conjunction with the special exhibition Paris 1900: City of Entertainment.

Jul
6
Sat
Public Tour: The Art and Times of Belle Époque
Jul 6 @ 12:30 pm – 1:30 pm
Public Tour: The Art and Times of Belle Époque

Explore the Museum with a docent skilled in bringing art to life.

Public tours depart from the Park Avenue entrance.

Tours are free for members or with Museum admission, and free for children age 17 and younger.

Presented in conjunction with the special exhibition Paris 1900: City of Entertainment.

Jul
7
Sun
How to Become a Mass-Media Star in the 19th Century: Sarah Bernhardt and the Belle Époque
Jul 7 @ 2:00 pm – 3:30 pm
How to Become a Mass-Media Star in the 19th Century: Sarah Bernhardt and the Belle Époque @ Whitsell Auditorium

Carol Ockman, Ph.D., Robert Sterling Clark Professor of Art History, Williams College

How did the daughter and niece of courtesans, a Jewish woman, an unwed mother purportedly promiscuous with both sexes, and an eventual amputee, come to be known as “the greatest actress of the Western world”? Charting her 60-year career, this talk focuses on Bernhardt’s remarkable talent for self-promotion at the dawn of mass culture, including her self-presentation, her recourse to the artistic talents of Art Nouveau poster wizard Alphonse Mucha and celebrity photographer Félix Nadar, together with well-publicized eccentricities—a menagerie, an excursion in a hot air balloon, and a resident skeleton and coffin at home.

This event is presented in conjunction with the special exhibition Paris 1900: City of Entertainment.

Purchase tickets
Public Tour: Paris 1900
Jul 7 @ 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Public Tour: Paris 1900

Explore the Museum with a docent skilled in bringing art to life.

Public tours depart from the Park Avenue entrance.

Tours are free for members or with Museum admission, and free for children age 17 and younger.

Presented in conjunction with the special exhibition Paris 1900: City of Entertainment.

Jul
13
Sat
Public Tour: Paris 1900
Jul 13 @ 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Public Tour: Paris 1900

Explore the Museum with a docent skilled in bringing art to life.

Public tours depart from the Park Avenue entrance.

Tours are free for members or with Museum admission, and free for children age 17 and younger.

Presented in conjunction with the special exhibition Paris 1900: City of Entertainment.

Jul
14
Sun
Cars in the Park
Jul 14 @ 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Cars in the Park

Admission to Park Blocks car showcase is FREE.

French food, drinks, and music inspired by Paris 1900: City of Entertainment exhibition.

Cars in the Park, a partnership with Sports Car Market (SCM), returns for one day this summer. On Sunday, July 14 from 1-4 p.m. 45 vintage cars will be on display in front of the Portland Art Museum on SW Park Avenue.

The partnership between the Museum and SCM magazine started in 2011 when the magazine was a supporter of the exhibit, Allure of the Automobile.  Last year, SCM was a sponsor of The Shape of Speed. Both events celebrated the artistic value of classic automobiles and were curated by automotive expert and SCM contributor Ken Gross.

The Shape of Speed coincided with the magazine’s 30th anniversary. To celebrate, SCM organized a 1,000-mile tour and held the tour kick-off event at the Museum. All 45 vintage cars, from 1973 and earlier, were on display in the front of the Museum for the public to enjoy. This tour has become an annual event, and SCM will once again start off with an appearance at the Portland Art Museum. With a focus on Porsche, but including classics of all marques, participants from as far away as Naples, FL will converge to begin a five day jaunt through Washington and Oregon.

Come to the Park Blocks and see these 45 classic cars before they set off on their 1,000-mile tour of the great Pacific Northwest.

Public Tour: Paris 1900
Jul 14 @ 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Public Tour: Paris 1900

Explore the Museum with a docent skilled in bringing art to life.

Public tours depart from the Park Avenue entrance.

Tours are free for members or with Museum admission, and free for children age 17 and younger.

Presented in conjunction with the special exhibition Paris 1900: City of Entertainment.

Jul
20
Sat
The Portland World’s Fair: A 1905 Walking Tour – SOLD OUT
Jul 20 @ 10:00 am – 1:00 pm
The Portland World’s Fair: A 1905 Walking Tour - SOLD OUT

This event is SOLD OUT.

During the summer of 1905, Portland hosted its own worldwide exposition. Its full official title was the Portland Lewis and Clark Centennial and American Pacific Exposition and Oriental Fair. This walking tour, a collaboration among the Portland Art Museum, Oregon Historical Society, and the newly opened Portland Chinatown Museum, will reflect on the fair and its complex histories, including its mythological representations of the far American West as a conquered land, and as a site for further expansion west into the Pacific and Asian markets. Guests will share a variety of perspectives on the Fair and how it was a turning point for many immigrant communities in Portland.

This walking tour will cover about 1.5 miles between the Portland Art Museum and the Portland Chinatown Museum with stops along the way.

Space is limited and advance reservations required.

This event is presented in conjunction with the special exhibition Paris 1900: City of Entertainment.

Public Tour: Paris 1900
Jul 20 @ 12:30 pm – 1:30 pm
Public Tour: Paris 1900

Explore the Museum with a docent skilled in bringing art to life.

Public tours depart from the Park Avenue entrance.

Tours are free for members or with Museum admission, and free for children age 17 and younger.

Presented in conjunction with the special exhibition Paris 1900: City of Entertainment.

Jul
27
Sat
Public Tour: Paris 1900
Jul 27 @ 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Public Tour: Paris 1900

Explore the Museum with a docent skilled in bringing art to life.

Public tours depart from the Park Avenue entrance.

Tours are free for members or with Museum admission, and free for children age 17 and younger.

Presented in conjunction with the special exhibition Paris 1900: City of Entertainment.

Aug
1
Thu
Baby Morning: Paris 1900
Aug 1 @ 10:00 am – 12:30 pm
Baby Morning: Paris 1900

We welcome babies and their caregivers beginning at 10 a.m. The first tour begins at roughly 10:30 a.m., or when we have a large enough group ready to go. The second tour begins at 11 a.m. Baby Morning’s home base remains open until noon with toys, games, and books, providing a welcoming, accommodating space free of worries. Caregivers are also welcome to leave belongings here while on the tour. Carriers are recommended while in the galleries, but not required.

This event is presented in conjunction with the special exhibition Paris 1900: City of Entertainment.

Session 1  Session 2
Music & History of Belle Époque Paris
Aug 1 @ 5:30 pm – 7:00 pm
Music & History of Belle Époque Paris @ Stevens Room

Join Alliance Française educators Eric John Kaiser (music) and Emmanuel Laurin (history) for an evening of conversation on the music and history of Belle Époque Paris. This program will be led in English and held at the Portland Art Museum.

This event is presented in conjunction with the special exhibition Paris 1900: City of Entertainment.

Purchase tickets
Aug
4
Sun
Public Tour: Paris 1900
Aug 4 @ 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Public Tour: Paris 1900

Explore the Museum with a docent skilled in bringing art to life.

Public tours depart from the Park Avenue entrance.

Tours are free for members or with Museum admission, and free for children age 17 and younger.

Presented in conjunction with the special exhibition Paris 1900: City of Entertainment.

Aug
11
Sun
Public Tour: Paris 1900
Aug 11 @ 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Public Tour: Paris 1900

Explore the Museum with a docent skilled in bringing art to life.

Public tours depart from the Park Avenue entrance.

Tours are free for members or with Museum admission, and free for children age 17 and younger.

Presented in conjunction with the special exhibition Paris 1900: City of Entertainment.

Aug
14
Wed
Midday Art Break: Paris 1900
Aug 14 @ 12:30 pm – 1:30 pm
Midday Art Break: Paris 1900

Paris 1900
Mary Weaver Chapin, Ph.D., Curator of Prints and Drawings

Take a break from your workday and join a curator, museum educator, artist, or local scholar for a 45-minute talk in the galleries.

Space is limited. Advance tickets recommended. Program departs from the Main Entrance Lobby.

Purchase tickets
Aug
15
Thu
Public Tour: Paris 1900
Aug 15 @ 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm
Public Tour: Paris 1900

Explore the Museum with a docent skilled in bringing art to life.

Public tours depart from the Park Avenue entrance.

Tours are free for members or with Museum admission, and free for children age 17 and younger.

Presented in conjunction with the special exhibition Paris 1900: City of Entertainment.

Aug
18
Sun
The Belle Époque that Never Ends: Paris 1900 and its Afterlives
Aug 18 @ 2:00 pm – 3:30 pm
The Belle Époque that Never Ends: Paris 1900 and its Afterlives @ Whitsell Auditorium

Vanessa Schwartz, Ph.D., Professor of History, Art History, and Critical Studies; Director, Visual Studies Research Institute, University of Southern California

This talk will consider not only how Paris became the capital of entertainment and the most visited city in the world in 1900, but also how visual culture from the period contributed to turning that experience into both a cliché and mythic moment that has repeated itself ever since. The presentation will especially focus on how and why artists such as Toulouse-Lautrec became household names and Hollywood’s endless homages to the can-can, the Moulin Rouge, and the Eiffel Tower.

This event is presented in conjunction with the special exhibition Paris 1900: City of Entertainment.

Purchase tickets
Public Tour: Paris 1900
Aug 18 @ 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Public Tour: Paris 1900

Explore the Museum with a docent skilled in bringing art to life.

Public tours depart from the Park Avenue entrance.

Tours are free for members or with Museum admission, and free for children age 17 and younger.

Presented in conjunction with the special exhibition Paris 1900: City of Entertainment.

Presenting Sponsors

  • The Richard and Janet Geary Foundation
  • Laura and Roger Meier Family
  • The Roger S. Meier Family Endowment for European Art

Lead Corporate Sponsor

Bank of America

Lead Sponsor

  • Andrée Stevens

Major Sponsors

  • Flowerree Foundation
  • The Robert Lehman Foundation
  • Nancie S. McGraw

Gala and Exhibition Sponsors

  • Mary and Don Blair
  • Davis Wright Tremaine LLP/Leona and Patrick Green
  • Heather Killough and Christian Selleron
  • Cyndy and Ed Maletis
  • Pat and Trudy Ritz
  • Grace Serbu
  • Norman F. Sprague Jr. Foundation
  • Wells Fargo
  • The Whitsell Family
  • Sabine Artaud Wild
  • Willamette Dental Group

Gala and Exhibition Supporters

  • Linda and Scott Andrews
  • Bessemer Trust
  • Mark and Katherine Frandsen
  • Lisa and Shawn Mangum
  • Margulis Jewelers/Dolorosa and David Margulis
  • Angela and Rex Snow
  • Cathy and Greg Tibbles
  • Susan and James Winkler