On Sept. 21, the Carlos Museum opens the exhibition "The Paris Salon: Drawings and Sculptures from Atlanta Collections." Presented as part of an ongoing series of displays featuring the museum's prints and drawings collection, "The Paris Salon" also features drawings from the Curtis O. Baer Collection and the Schlossberg collection of European drawings and sculptures. The exhibition runs through Dec. 1.
"The Paris Salon" focuses on works by artists such as Delacroix and Ingres whose careers were shaped by the demands of exhibiting at the Salon. The exhibition includes preparatory studies, complex historical subjects, studies of old master paintings and studies from the live model by artists who were known as "Salon painters" and "Salon sculptors." The exhibition is co-curated by art history graduate students Angi Elsea, Sunanda Sanyal and Megan McShane, and museum intern Annemie De Maeyer, under the supervision of Marc Gotlieb, curator of prints and drawings and associate professor of art history.
Founded in the 17th century during the reign of Louis XIV as a forum for the display of works by aspiring young painters, the Paris Salon shaped the careers of thousands of French artists for more than two centuries. The exhibition space, initially conceived as a way to give painters working for the king the opportunity to show off their latest paintings and sculptures to a broader public, was called the Salon Carre--hence the term Salon. This name remained even when, by the mid-19th century, the exhibition space had been relocated to a huge commercial hall much larger than the original space. By Edouard Manet's time in the 1860s and 1870s, Salon audiences numbered in the tens of thousands, including visitors from across Europe and America. Submissions to the Salon were juried and typically this body was highly conservative, routinely rejecting paintings that we now consider masterpieces.
The exhibition is funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and is accompanied by a gallery guide and a series of educational programs. For more information call 727-4780.