Terra Collection Initiative: Impressionist Giverny: A Colony of Artists, 1885–1915

Between 1885 and 1915, the village of Giverny attracted more than 350 artists from at least eighteen countries around the world, transforming from a sleepy community to a vibrant and important artists’ colony. The presence of master impressionist painter Claude Monet, who settled in the village in 1883, attracted these young artists, but his presence does not solely explain Giverny’s popularity. Artists also sought the opportunity to combine the practice of plein air painting with an active social life and enjoyed the locale’s picturesque features and easy proximity to Paris. Many artists visited briefly, while others purchased homes and studios, making this Norman village an artistic center. +

Impressionist Giverny: A Colony of Artists, 1885–1915 studied the phenomenon of this artists’ colony, paying special attention to the importance of site and reuniting for the first time many canvases that were painted in the village. More than thirty of the ninety-five paintings in the exhibition were drawn from the Terra Foundation for American Art, while the remainder of the exhibition comprised important loans from public and private collections in Europe and the United States.

The four sections of the exhibition followed the chronological and thematic evolution of painting in the colony from its origins in Barbizon-inspired landscapes to impressionist views of the village to depictions of the artists themselves and, finally, to works by the “Giverny Group” who focused on decorative depictions of women in gardens.

Dates & Venues

April 1–July 1, 2007
Musée d’Art Américain Giverny, Giverny, France

July 22–October 1, 2007
San Diego Museum of Art, San Diego, California, United States

A smaller version of the exhibition, consisting of 50 paintings from the Terra Foundation collection and titled Impressionist Giverny: American Painters in France, 1885–1915, was organized for two additional US venues:

May 3–July 27, 2008
Florence Griswold Museum, Old Lyme, Connecticut, United States

August 26, 2008–January 4, 2009
Albany Institute of History and Art, New York, United States

Works of Art from the Terra Foundation Collection

SECTION ONE: Landscapes around Giverny

SECTION TWO: Village Life

SECTION THREE: Friends and Family

SECTION FOUR: The ‘Giverny Group’

PHOTOGRAPHS BY THEODORE ROBINSON

Publications

Bourguignon, Katherine M., Nina Lubbren, and Kathleen Pyne, eds. Impressionist Giverny: A Colony of Artists, 1885–1915. Giverny: Musée d’Art Américain Giverny; Chicago: Terra Foundation for American Art. Distributed by University of Chicago Press, 2007.

Bourguignon, Katherine M., Nina Lubbren, and Kathleen Pyne, eds. Giverny impressionniste: une colonie d’artistes, 1885–1915. Paris: Réunions des musées nationaux; Giverny: Musée d’Art Américain Giverny; Chicago: Terra Foundation for American Art, 2007.

Related Content

Symposium program: “De Fontainebleau à Giverny: territoires du paysage moderne,” Musée d’Orsay and Musée d’Art Américain Giverny, April 27–28, 2007


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