2020 Impressionism News

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On this page, updated on a weekly basis, we give you the latest impressionist news.

Learn about the latest impressionist exhibitions, auctions and research. Highlights from the past six months include:

  • Museums and exhibitions are starting to re-open after Covid-19 lockdown.
  • Various museums putting on virtual tours, galleries and other activities to help you cope with Covid-19 lockdown.
  • Bid on impressionist works and writings at a number of online auctions.
  • The Boston Museum of Fine Arts marked its 150th anniversary in February 2020.

1. 2020 News Items

Claude Monet's Giverny house and gardens have re-opened.  But with Covid restrictions they are only being visited by locals!
Monet's Olympia is one of the treasures of the Musee d'Orsay.  It can now be seen by the public again, following the easing of Covid measures in Paris.
Claude Monet's Rue Saint-Denis is one his most iconic works of Paris.

Covid-19 has dampened demand for impressionist work at auctions and delayed a number of exhibitions. But it is not all bad news, as we explain below.

July 2020

The Normandie Impressionniste 2020, a festival of over 50 impressionist exhibitions, has now started and will run until 4 November 2020. They include Francois Depeaux, The Man with 500 Paintings, an exhibition at the Rouen Fine Arts Museum featuring works by Monet, Renoir and Sisley. The most famous painting on display is Monet's Rue St-Denis (pictured).

Museums are starting to re-open after Covid lockdown:

  • The Mississippi Museum of Art, for instance, welcomes members again from 1 July and the general public from 8 July (first responders and essential workers go free). The Museum has also said that their Van Gogh, Monet, Degas & Their Times exhibition will re-open on 8 July (with its run extended until 10 January 2021.
  • The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts' exhibition entitled Paris in the Days of Post-Impressionism opens on 4 July 2020. Works by Monet, Morisot, Signac, Pissarro and Seurat are on display.
  • The Musee D'Orsay re-opened its doors on 28 June, but numbers are to be restricted to 3,000 per day and visitors are required to wear face masks.
  • Meanwhile, London's museums re-opened on 4 July 2020.

Meanwhile, Christie's has had to take severe costs cutting measures, merging its impressionism, modern and contemporary art departments into one.

June 2020

On 1 June 2020 the Boston Museum of Fine Arts is delivering an online course for children in grades 1-5 entitled Exploring Impressionism: The Art of Claude Monet.

Or take a virtual tour of Washington's National Gallery of Art at 7pm on 26 June 2020 (tickets cost $15).

On 9 June 2020, London's National Gallery announced that it had purchased The Drunkard, Zarauz by Joaquín Sorolla, using funds left by a private donation. The acquisition follows the National Gallery's hugely successful Sorolla exhibition held before Covid-19 lockdown started.

Speaking of Covid-19, Claude Monet's gardens at Giverny have re-opened. Locals are delighted: they can appreciate the gardens without the usual crowds!

Christie's is holding an Impressionist & Modern Art Evening Sale on 30 June, but the title is a bit misleading. The closest one gets to impressionism are works by Paul Signac and Pablo Picasso.

May 2020

On 18 May 2020, Sotheby's held its first Impressionist & Modern Art Day Sale Online. The results for impressionist pieces often exceeded expectations. Pissarro's Effect de Neige a Onsy sold for $560,000 (exceeding the top-end estimate of $350,000); Degas' Buste de Jeune Femme Presque Nue sold for $596,000 (estimate: $450,000); and Renoir's La Maison de la Poste sold for $200,000 (in the middle of its estimated range).

The UK's Guardian has produced this fun online art quiz, including a question about Claude Monet.

The Foundation Monet has launched an online tour of Monet's House in Giverny. Explore Monet's bedroom, his yellow kitchen adorned with Japanese art, and his blue-tiled kitchen.

The house is also home to about 40 of Monet's works (including from the Rouen Cathedral, Haystacks, Westminster Bridge, Houses of Parliament and Venice series) as well as works by other artists (Cezanne in particular).

Unfortunately, there is no virtual tour of the gardens (though you can check out some videos on The Foundation Monet's vimeo channel).

The Courtauld Institute is hosting a series of virtual mini-art festivals to help you get through lockdown. May 2020 sees evenings devoted to Women Artists, the Future of Art History and Art and Wellbeing.

The Shelbourne Museum in Vermont is also putting on daily art-related activities.

There's an online auction of autographs and writings (you can bid until 13 May 2020), with lots including an 8-page letter written by Claude Monet to his second wife, Alice, in 1901. It comments on the arrangements for Queen Victoria's funeral and Monet's meeting with writer Henry James.

Jan-April 2020

In February 2020, the Boston Museum of Fine Arts marked its 150th anniversary. It selected 15 key works for the occasion, including one of Monet's Haystacks (or Grainstacks).

The Louvre-Lens museum, in the north of Paris, is holding an exhibition entitled Black Suns. It explores artists' use of the colour black. Edouard Manet, who unlike many of the impressionists loved using this colour, features heavily. The exhibition runs until 25 January 2021.

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2. 2019 News Items

One of Monet's Haystacks

19 May 2019. A luminous version of Monet's Haystacks sells at Christie's New York for a record $97m ($110.7m with fees).

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