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Featured Exhibition Galleries, Bloch Building
This exhibition requires tickets.

Experience the pleasure and excitement of traveling through mid-19th century France. From Paris to the countryside, the top of Mont Blanc to the Mediterranean, this exhibition features approximately 125 key paintings and photographs by well-known Impressionists such as Claude Monet, Camille Pissarro and Pierre-Auguste Renoir, as well as important photographs by Gustave Le Gray and Édouard Baldus.

Impressionist France explores connections between landscape and national identity during a period in which France was being fundamentally transformed and modernized. Painters and photographers composed competing visions of France as modern and industrialized or, in equally potent terms, as rural and anti-modern.

Within this historical context key artists emerged and drew inspiration, including Monet, Pissarro and others from the Impressionist generation. It is also during this period that influential photographers, such as Le Gray, Baldus, and the Bisson frères profoundly advanced the practice of photography from amateur experimentation to artistic mastery, while also demonstrating its value as a vital documentary tool for state-sponsored agendas.

This exhibition showcases works never before seen in the region, and include important paintings and photographs from 36 major American and European museums and several private collections.

Featured Exhibition Tickets

Members: FREE

Adults: $8
Seniors over 55: $7
Students with ID: $5
Children 12 & under: FREE

Public Programs

Curators' Talk
Impressionist France: Behind the Scenes
2 p.m., Saturday, October 19 | Atkins Auditorium

Join April M. Watson, Associate Curator of Photography at the Nelson-Atkins, and Simon Kelly, Saint Louis Art Museum's Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art, as they discuss their travels to France and the inspiration for the exhibition.

Special Presentation
Impressionist France: A Sense of Place, An Evolving Conviction
6–7 p.m., Thursday, November 21 | Atkins Auditorium

Joseph J. Rishel, distinguished curator of European painting at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, discusses the lives and work of Gustave Courbet, Édouard Manet, Paul Cézanne, Claude Monet, Pierre–Auguste Renoir, and other artists whose collective work became instrumental as France established and affirmed its national identity.

Crossfire Talks
On Canvas and In Camera
Meet at exhibition entrance, Gallery L13
Exhibition ticket required
Wednesday, Nov. 20 1:30 p.m.
Saturday, Jan. 11 1:30 p.m.
Sunday, Feb. 2 2 p.m.

Deepen your exhibition experience by joining curators April M. Watson and Nicole Myers for a series of in-gallery talks that explore the fascinating relationship between painting, photography, landscape and national identity in mid-19th-century France.

Film Series
French Landscapes through Filmmakers' Eyes
Atkins Auditorium | 7 p.m.

Friday, November 8 | French Cancan, Jean Renoir, 1954 102 minutes Come early and dance the Cancan with instructor Nicole English! Demonstration begins at 6:30 p.m.

Friday, November 22 | A Sunday in the Country (Un dimanche à la campagne), Bertrand Tavernier, 1984 90 minutes

Thanksgiving Weekend
Friday, November 29 | 5–9 p.m.
Family-Friendly Cabaret Performance

Travel with us and discover the culture, history and landscapes of mid-19th century France with a family-friendly French Cabaret. Experience Impressionist France brought to life through live music, comedy and physical theater! Featuring performances by Cynthia van Roden, Beth Byrd, Patrick Ripperto, Rick Mareske and John Miles.

Promenade Illuminée (Luminary Walk)
5–9 p.m. | Donald J. Hall Sculpture Park

Fireside Cocoa and Concoctions
5–8:30 p.m. | Creative Café Terrace

The Students are IN!
Carrefour (Crossroads): French Landscapes and Literature
5–7 p.m., Thursday, December 5

Connect the worlds of 19th–century French art and literature with advanced French literature students from University of Missouri–Kansas City stationed throughout the galleries.

Travel France Day
1–4 p.m., Saturday, January 11 | Ford Learning Center
Prepare for a visit to France, real or virtual, by attending 30– to 60–minute lessons in French language, music, history, food and more. Repeated sessions allow you to customize an afternoon of discovery. In partnership with Alliance Française de Kansas City.

Exhibition Tours
October 23, 2013–January 18, 2014
Exhibition ticket required.
Drop in tours 1 p.m. Wednesday–Friday

Museum guides available for questions and meaningful conversation.
6–9 p.m., Thursday and Friday
1–4 p.m., Saturday and Sunday

Listen as April M. Watson, Associate Curator of Photography at the
Nelson–Atkins and Simon Kelly, Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at Saint Louis, share a glass of wine and reminisce about the evolution of this first–of–its–kind exhibition.

Impressionist France: Then and Now

Library Guide: Impressionist France

Research Guide | October 19, 2013–February 9, 2014

Member Events

Member Preview Days
Thursday & Friday, October 17 & 18
10 a.m.–5 p.m. Thursday
10 a.m.–9 p.m. Friday

Society of Fellows & Business Council Member Opening Reception
Thursday, October 17
6–8 p.m. | Bloch Lobby, Galleries L13-14

Society of Fellows Annual Dinner 7:30 p.m., Thursday, October 17
Cost $150

Enhanced Art Experience Reception
Friday, October 18
Family, Art Explorer & Art Lover Members ($150+)
6–9 p.m.

Friends of Art Member Opening Celebration
7–9 p.m.

This exhibition has been co-organized by The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art and Saint Louis Art Museum. Support is provided by the Hall Family Foundation, Marion and Henry Bloch, Barton P. and Mary D. Cohen Charitable Trust, James Sight and Dr. Heidi Harman, Donald J. Hall, Tom and Jean McDonnell, The Manuel Rivera-Ortiz Foundation for Documentary Photography & Film, and the Campbell-Calvin Fund and Elizabeth C. Bonner Charitable Trust for exhibitions.

This exhibition is supported by the National Endowment for the Arts and an indemnity from the Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities. Additional support has been provided by the Honorary Committee.


Édouard Manet, French (1832-1883). The Rue Mosnier with Flags, 1878. Oil on canvas, 25 3/4 x 31 3/4 inches. The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, 89.PA.71.

Camille Silvy, French (1834-1910). River Scene, 1858. Gold-toned albumen print from two collodion glass negatives, 9 5/8 x 14 7/16 inches. Victoria and Albert Museum, London. Bequeathed by Chauncey Hare Townshend, 68:012.

Claude Monet, French (1840-1926). The Promenade with the Railroad Bridge, Argenteuil, 1874. Oil on canvas, 21 1/8 x 28 3/8 inches. Saint Louis Art Museum. Gift of Sydney M. Shoenberg Sr., 45:1973.

Gustave Le Gray, French (1820-1884). Group of Ships Departing Le Havre, ca. 1856. Albumen print from collodion glass negative, 12 1/8 x 16 inches. The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, Missouri. Gift of the Hall Family Foundation, 2007.21.18.

Claude Monet, French (1840-1926). Regatta at Sainte-Adresse, 1867. Oil on canvas, 29 5/8 x 40 inches. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Bequest of William Church Osborn, 1951, 51.30.4.

Louis-Auguste Bisson, French (1814-1876) and Auguste-Rosalie Bisson, French (1826-1900). Sérac, Meeting of the Bossons and Taconnaz, ca. 1862. Albumen print from collodion glass negative, 9 1/16 x 15 1/16 inches. The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, Missouri. Gift of the Hall Family Foundation, 2010.30.3.

Background Image: Édouard Manet, French (1832-1883). The Rue Mosnier with Flags (detail), 1878. Oil on canvas, 25 3/4 x 31 3/4 inches. The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, 89.PA.71.

     October 19, 2013–February 9, 2014