The Mississippi Museum of Art (MMA) announced its plans to reopen after temporarily closing due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The MMA will be opening in stages beginning July 1, 2020 with an initial members-only period and will then open to the general public July 8, 2020. First responders and essential workers will be allowed free admission throughout the exhibition.
“All of us at the Mississippi Museum of Art have eagerly anticipated opening our doors, and we are happy to announce that Van Gogh, Monet, Degas & Their Times will open soon. As an added bonus, the exhibition has been extended through January 10, 2021,” said Director of the Mississippi Museum of Art Betsy Bradley. “Our friends at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts are as committed as we are to you having as much time with this exhibition as you need to feel safe, relaxed, and ready to be at the Museum with these important purveyors of wonder. The exhibit will be here for you to see in person, soon and as often as you like.”
With the ongoing COVID-19 concern, the health of museum visitors will remain a top priority. Bradley adds, “As we open to the general public to view this rare and beautiful art work, we have applied protocols for cleanliness, sanitization, and safety. MMA will require advance timed-ticketing, social distancing, and masks so our visitors can enjoy the exhibit worry-free.”
On view from July 1, 2020 through January 10, 2021, Van Gogh, Monet, Degas, and Their Times: The Mellon Collection of French Art from the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts showcases major schools of French art including Romanticism, Impressionism, and Cubism spanning 150 years.
The special exhibition will feature 74 masterworks by famous French artists of the 19th and 20th centuries including Edgar Degas, Eugène Delacroix, Edouard Manet, Claude Monet, Berthe Morisot, Pablo Picasso, Henri Rousseau, and Vincent van Gogh.
An exceptional selection of work by modern French masters—among the most celebrated and recognized of the Western canon—the exhibition also reveals the connoisseurship of Paul and Rachel “Bunny” Lambert Mellon, among the most philanthropic art collecting couples of the last century. The Mellons’ personal interests, commitment to modernism, and prescient collecting strategies are evident in the grouping.
“This is the first traveling exhibition of the Mellon Collection since Mrs. Mellon’s bequest to the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in 2014,” said Bradley. “Included are works by all the best-known artists, both French and Dutch, of the late 19th century who abandoned the official methods of the French Academy and forged a new way of painting that came to be called Impressionism. We are thrilled by the opportunity to share these masterpieces with Jackson and our visitors from around the world.”
Organized thematically, the exhibition opens with equestrian paintings by Degas, Eugene Delacroix, and Théodore Géricault followed by human figures and portraits by Gustave Courbet, Morisot, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, and others depicted in informal settings. The next section features views of Paris (a frequent destination for the Mellons and members of their social milieu) and Impressionist and Post-Impressionist urban cityscapes by Pierre Bonnard, Maurice Utrillo, and Van Gogh. A grouping of paintings featuring water demonstrates some Impressionists’ skill at imitating a variety of fluid surfaces. A selection of paintings of the French countryside features Monet’s vibrant Field of Poppies, Giverny and smaller canvases by Georges Seurat and Van Gogh, among others.
The final section contains large, iconic paintings that stand apart from the more intimate sensibility of many of the other works in the collection. Among the masterpieces on view are Rousseau’s tour de force Tropical Landscape (1910), Bonnard’s Post-Impressionist The Dining Room (ca. 1940-47), and Picasso’s Cubist still life The Chinese Chest of Drawers (1953), the latest work in the exhibition.
The MMA is the final venue for this traveling exhibition before the collection is reinstalled in Virginia in January 2021. This exhibition is organized by the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. Its presentation in Jackson, Miss, is sponsored by the Robert M. Hearin Support Foundation. VMFA published a catalogue to accompany the traveling exhibition which will be available for sale in the Museum’s store.
While entrance to the Museum is free, there will be an admission charge for Van Gogh, Monet, Degas, and Their Times: $15 per person; $13 for seniors and groups of ten or more; $10 for college students with school identification. Admission is free for Museum members, children five and under, and K-12 students on Tuesdays and Thursdays thanks to Feild Co-operative Associations, Inc., and BlueCross BlueShield of Mississippi.
Tuesday – Thursday: 11 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Friday – Sunday: 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Special senior hours (for visitors over the age of 65):
Tuesdays – Thursdays: 10 a.m. – 11 a.m.