New MSV Changing Exhibitions Gallery to Open June 1 with American Impressionism: The Lure of the Artists' Colony

Winchester, VA., 05/29/13…The Museum of the Shenandoah Valley (MSV) will mark the completion of a major gallery renovation with the June 1 opening of American Impressionism: The Lure of the Artists’ Colony. Featuring 75 oil paintings and nearly 30 works on paper from the collection of Pennsylvania’s Reading Public Museum, the exhibition is the first to be on display in the greatly enlarged and relocated MSV Changing Exhibitions Gallery.

On view through August 4, 2013, American Impressionism includes landscapes, portraits, and still-life paintings dating from the 1880s through the 1940s. The works will be presented according to “colonies” or geographic regions where the artists who played a critical role in the development of the American impressionist movement gathered and includes those at Cos Cob and Old Lyme in Connecticut; Cape Cod, Cape Anne, and Rockport, in Massachusetts; New Hope and Philadelphia in Pennsylvania; Taos, New Mexico; and throughout California. Often located near major cities, these colonies provided artists with natural beauty, subject matter, and the opportunity to teach, collaborate, and escape the daily rigors of their city studios.

From its beginnings in France during the latter part of the nineteenth century, impressionism defied the conventions of academic painting. Working mostly “en plein air” (“in the open air” or outdoors), impressionist painters depicted landscapes and scenes of everyday life using natural light, loose brush strokes, and intense colors. Instead of following tradition, these artists introduced the world to a radical new style of creating and experiencing art.

According to Scott Schweigert, curator of art and civilization at the Reading Public Museum, the exhibition provides a rare opportunity to see a wide variety of approaches to impressionism in America. Schweigert notes that the exhibition features works by more than 70 artists, including some who are renowned, as well as lesser-known painters who also embraced elements of impressionism.

Leading artists of the American impressionist movement whose works will be on view in the exhibition include William Merritt Chase, Childe Hassam, Ernest Lawson, Julian Alden Weir, John Twachtman, Chauncey Ryder, Frank W. Benson, William Paxton, Abbott Thayer, Guy Wiggins, Charles Webster Hawthorne, Colin Campbell Cooper, Daniel Garber, and Edward Redfield, among others. The exhibition also highlights American artists working in Europe, such as Mary Cassatt and John Singer Sargent.

According to MSV Executive Director Dana Hand Evans, American Impressionism is the largest changing exhibition that the Museum has presented since opening in 2005. “The gallery renovation project has more than doubled the Museum’s space for changing exhibitions” says Evans. She notes that impressionism is a fitting subject for the new gallery’s debut exhibition and states that, “just as impressionist artists introduced the world to a new way of experiencing art, this gallery opening marks the beginning of an exciting new era at the MSV.” The new 2,600- square-foot Changing Exhibitions Gallery allows the MSV to expand the size of the exhibitions it organizes, as well as work with other institutions to bring larger traveling exhibitions, previously unavailable to the MSV due to the size constraints of a smaller gallery, to the Shenandoah Valley.

The Museum of the Shenandoah Valley is located at 901 Amherst Street in Winchester, Virginia.  The MSV complex—including the Museum, the Glen Burnie House, and six acres of gardens—is open Tuesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. The Museum is open year-round; the gardens are open seasonally (through October 31 in 2013). The house is now closed until 2014 for a comprehensive preservation project. Museum admission includes the gardens and is free to MSV Members and children ages 12 and under. The fee for all others is $10 or $8 for seniors and youth. Admission is free to all on Wednesday from 10 a.m. until noon. Additional information is available at www.theMSV.org or by calling 540-662-1473, ext. 235. 

Special Related Programming

Along with docent-led “highlight” tours of the exhibition on Wednesdays from 10 a.m. until noon and from 1 to 3 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays (free with admission), the MSV has scheduled many special events and educational opportunities to celebrate the showing of American Impressionism: The Lure of the Artists’ Colony.        ?                              

Cocktails and Design: Mimosas & Brushstrokes SOLD OUT

Saturday, June 1 • 9 a.m.–noon

Learn how to create an impressionistic landscape painting while enjoying a mimosa and live music! For ages 21+.

MSV Members: $30; all others: $35. Registration was required by May 28 and is now sold out; call 540-662-1473, ext. 226, or email [email protected] to be placed on a waiting list.                                                                  

Reflections through Music
Saturday, June 1 • 1–4 p.m.

Artists ages 11 to 15 will learn basic painting techniques, as well as learn about American impressionists and the music that may have inspired them.

MSV Members: $12; all others: $15. Registration required by noon on May 31; call 540-662-1473, ext. 219, or email [email protected].

Impressionism Art Class
Thursday, June 6 • 9 a.m.–noon

For ages 16+, this workshop will include a discussion of the impressionistic style and guided gallery and garden tours. Participants will experiment with a variety of art media to create impressionistic works of art.

MSV Members: $15; all others: $20. Registration required by May 31; call 540-662-1473,
ext. 226, or email [email protected].

Willa Cather Celebration
Friday, June 7 • 4–9 p.m.

At 6 p.m. John T. Jacobs, PhD, Shenandoah University professor and founder of the Willa Cather Institute, will discuss how impressionistic art influenced Willa Cather. Guided tours of American Impressionism will begin at 6:45 p.m. At 7:30 p.m. Winchester’s Magic Lantern Theater will present the film Willa Cather: The Road is All.

MSV & Magic Lantern Members: $5; all others: $10 (includes gallery admission, tours, and cake). Admission is not required for the movie. Beer/wine available for purchase.  

Mimicking Monet
Thursday, June 20 & July 11 • 10 a.m.–noon

This fun program encourages families to explore and create art together! Participants will be introduced to impressionist painters and their techniques, tour American Impressionism, and then create their own paintings.

$3 per person (drop-in; no registration required).   

American Impressionism Lecture
Sunday, June 23 • 2 p.m.

Scott Schweigert, curator of art and civilization at the Reading Public Museum, will discuss the emergence of artists’ colonies during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries and detail the effect that these colonies had on artists’ creativity.

Free to MSV Members; all others: $10, $8 youth/senior. Seating is limited; tickets will be available beginning at 10 a.m. at the Visitor Information Desk.

Teen Art Camp

Monday–Friday, June 24–28 • 10 a.m.–2 p.m.

This camp for ages 14+ will encourage the creative spark in teen art enthusiasts by offering them the opportunity to work with a variety of art mediums and interact with professional artists. For all skill levels.

$50 per person (includes all materials); participants may bring lunch or purchase a box lunch. Registration required by June 7; 540-662-1473, ext. 226, or email [email protected].

Behind the Scenes: Care of Paintings
Wednesday, July 10 • 10 a.m.

Go behind the scenes at the MSV with MSV Collections Manager/Registrar Janie Carscallen and learn how to properly examine, clean, and store framed paintings.

MSV Members: $20; all others: $25. Registration required by July 5; call 540-662-1473, ext. 226, or email [email protected].

Cocktails and Design: Impressionistic Painting
Saturday, July 13 • 6–9 p.m.

Learn how to create an impressionistic portrait with a patriotic flair while enjoying a red-white-and-blue martini and live music! For ages 21+.

MSV Members: $30; all others: $35. Registration required by July 5; call 540-662-1473, ext. 226, or email [email protected].

The Art of Clay-Painting
Thursday, July 25 • 10 a.m.–12:30 p.m. (ages 6–10)
Thursday, August 1 • 10 a.m.–12:30 p.m. (ages 11–15)

This “pop in” program will introduce impressionism and provide participants with a fun opportunity to create a painting using various colors of clay instead of paints.

$3 per person (drop-in; no registration required).

Abstract Expressionism
Saturday, August 3 • 10 a.m.–12:30 p.m. (ages 8–11)
Saturday, August 3 • 1 p.m.–3:30 p.m. (ages 12–15)

Youth will be introduced to abstract expressionist artists and paintings and learn the difference between impressionist and expressionist painting. Participants will create a painting using techniques discussed in the program.

MSV Members: $10; all others: $12. Registration required by July 27; call 540-662-1473,
ext. 219, or email [email protected].

Julie B. Armel
540-662-1473, ext. 225
[email protected]

Wednesday, May 29, 2013