Alphonse Mucha: Master of Art Nouveau Examines the Work of Alphonse Mucha
Winchester, VA 04/19/16… An exhibition featuring the work of one of the most significant artists of the Art Nouveau movement will be on view at the Museum of the Shenandoah Valley (MSV) from April 22 through July 31, 2016. Making its East Coast debut at the MSV, Alphonse Mucha: Master of Art Nouveau displays more than 70 objects drawn from the holdings of the Dhawan Collection, Los Angeles, California, one of the largest and most significant private collections of Mucha’s work in the United States.
Born in Czechoslovakia, Alphonse Mucha (1860–1939) is most often remembered for the prominent role he played in shaping the aesthetics of French Art Nouveau at the turn of the twentieth century.
“We are excited to have the opportunity to present this exhibition,” says MSV Executive Director Dana Hand Evans. She notes that the exhibition is the first in the MSV’s 11-year history that focuses on Art Nouveau. Director Evans adds that Alphonse Mucha: Master of Art Nouveau was scheduled for display during the spring and summer months as a complement to the MSV’s seven-acre Glen Burnie Gardens. Many of the works in the exhibition feature beautiful women, dramatic curving lines, flowers and plants.
Mucha’s successes in many fields of creativity are revealed in the exhibition. Vintage lithographs, original drawings, paintings, books, and advertising ephemera are included in the display. Highlights include four versions of a monumental poster Mucha created in 1894 for actress Sarah Bernhardt’s play “Gismonda” and two posters advertising Job cigarette papers (1896 and 1898).
The MSV is hosting an opening reception for the exhibition from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. on Saturday, April 23. The cost for the event—which includes admission to the exhibition, an expresso bar, and pastries—is free to MSV Members and $20 for all others. Advance registration is required to attend the event. Those interested in registering for the April 23 reception may do so on www.theMSV.org or by calling 540-662-1473, extension 213.
Alphonse Mucha: Master of Art Nouveau is organized by Landau Traveling Exhibitions, Los Angeles, California. The MSV display is sponsored by WINC 92.5 FM. Following its presentation in Winchester, the exhibition will travel to the Fullerton Museum Center in Fullerton, California, the Citadel Art Foundation in Canadian, Texas, and the Albin Polasek Museum & Sculpture Gardens in Winter Park, Florida.
A regional cultural center, the MSV is located at 901 Amherst Street in Winchester, Virginia. The MSV includes galleries, the Glen Burnie House, and seven acres of gardens. The galleries and exhibitions are open year-round; the house and gardens are open April through December. Admission is $10 or $8 for seniors and youth ages 13 to 18. General admission is always free to youth ages 12 and under and to MSV Members. Thanks to sponsor Howard Shockey & Sons, Inc., admission is free to all every Wednesday. During the weeks between Memorial Day and Labor Day, the MSV is open free of charge each Wednesday until 8 p.m. Additional details about the exhibition and a variety of complementary programs are available at www.theMSV.org or by calling 540-662-1473, ext. 235. –END–
About Art Nouveau
“Art Nouveau” describes a style in architecture, visual arts, and applied arts that flourished from the 1890s through 1910. The French called the style Art Nouveau (New Art) because it offered a new approach to the design of everyday objects. The artists most closely associated with Art Nouveau emphasized the beauty of natural forms. The Art Nouveau style features a sinuous or “whiplash” line, flattened space, and botanical shapes and patterns.
Above: Réverie, Variant 4, 1898; color lithograph on paper mounted on linen.