Triumph of French Painting Exhibition Now at Tulsa's Philbrook Museum


Wednesday, July 26th 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6


A major international arts exhibition is now open at the Philbrook Museum of Art. The Tulsa museum will be the only midwestern stop on a tour that includes French treasures by some of the most famous names in art.

The exhibit called "The Triumph of French Painting," features works by Van Gogh, Picasso and Matisse to name a few. The News on Six went to the museum for an exclusive look at the show that museum officials say could draw the largest crowds in Philbrook's history.

It was a challenge to get a room ready to hold paintings done by 30 of history's greatest artists. Philbrook has completed painting and reconfiguring its main gallery for nearly 60 19th and early 20th Century French works that will make only two other stops in the country.
"Very rarely are paintings of this caliber allowed to travel,” said Philbrook Curator Christine Kallenberger. “Both because of their great value, and the security involved. But also because they are so much desired and very popular in their museum homes.”

The paintings are from the collections of Baltimore's two premiere art museums. There are works by Van Gogh, Monet, Gaugin, Renoir and others. Kallenberger says most people will recognize the works immediately. "The exhibit comprises artists that are virtually household names even to people who aren't ordinarily in art museums on a regular basis,” she explained.

Kallenberger says one goal of every exhibit is creating a background that strengthens the artwork. In this case, she says, it was hard to imagine anything that could make these paintings look any better or more meaningful. The history of the works helped answer how to present them. "We've created in our gallery a sort of parlor situation,” Kallenberger noted. “All of these paintings belonged to private collectors - individuals - before they actually came to the museum collections that now house them."

Kallenberger says landing the exhibit is not only important for Philbrook, but for Tulsa. The show is expected to draw visitors from all over the region for a rare look at some rare art. "The Trimumph of French Painting" opens August 13th and continues through November 26th. The museum has scheduled a number of events to encourage visitors.

There will be education programs for both children and adults as well as a special French Family Fun Festival in September. For an update on the exhibition’s information, check kotv.com or you can go to the website of the Philbrook Museum of Art.