The tour, "Once Upon a Time...Impressionism" is currently on display at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, the one and only Canadian stop of the tour, which will travel from Europe to Asia during the expansion work at the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, Massachusetts.
Seventy-four paintings by Bonnard, Corot, Degas, Gauguin, Manet, Millet, Monet, Morisot, Pissaro, Sisley and Tourlouse-Lautrec dotted the walls of the museum, which was full of art-lovers taking advantage of seeing the masters, as I was.
According to the information blurb, the collection is "the work of Robert Sterling Clark (1877-1956), heir to the Singer sewing machine fortune, who, for over half a century, quietly built up one of the finest art collections in the United States. Married to a French actress, Clark lived for many years in Paris, enthusiastically collecting art. A discriminating art lover and skilled negotiator, as independent in his lifestyle as in his tastes, this thoughtful and reticent man chose the artworks himself, consulting only with his knowledgeable wife, Francine. His collection included European and American paintings, Old Master prints and drawings, sculpture, silver and ceramics.
In 1955, the Clarks opened the institute that bears their names in Williamstown, Massachusetts, in the heart of New England. It is now famous around the world for the outstanding quality of its art collection, which spans from European Old Masters to nineteenth-century art, decorative arts and remarkable holdings of works on paper, and one of America’s largest art history libraries."
The paintings included Monet's landscapes, from "The Cliffs at Etretat" to the Dutch tulip fields and Spring in Giverny...among others. As an artist who is drawn to landscapes, Monet is a favorite. Still haven't made it to Giverny - yet - but hoping to one day. Walking from painting-to-painting, I couldn't help but smile and shake my head in admiration along with frequent gasps at the artistry in front of my eyes.
If you happen to be in the Montreal area on business or pleasure, you can catch the tour until January 20, 2013. Definitely worth a look.