Saturday, October 22, 2016

All brass and no Degas, the National Gallery of Victoria and Museum of Fine Arts Houston's "Degas: A New Vision" exhibition fraud

NOTE: Footnotes are enclosed with [FN]


"Edgar Degas, The little fourteen-year-old dancer, 1878-81, bronze with cotton skirt and satin ribbon, Museu de Are de Sao Paulo, Assis Chateaubriand"
www.mfah/org/exhibition/degas-new-vision
NON-DISCLOSED POSTHUMOUS BRASS FORGERY

The Degas: A New Vision exhibition at the National Gallery of Victoria [NGV] and the Museum of Fine Arts Houston [MFAH] has, at least, 20 non-disclosed posthumous 3rd-generation-removed brass [not bronze] forgeries with counterfeit "Degas" signatures in bogus editions falsely attributed as original works of visual art i.e., "sculpture" to a dead Edgar Degas [d 1917].

The dead don't sculpt.

On page 661 of the Seventh Edition of Black's Law Dictionary, -forgery- is defined as: "the act of fraudulently making a false document or altering a real one to be used as if genuine."[FN 1] 

These non-disclosed posthumous 3rd-generation-removed brass [not bronze] forgeries with counterfeit "Degas" signatures in bogus editions are not even direct reproductions of Edgar Degas's original lifetime mixed-media sculpture. Any attempt to cast them directly into bronze or brass by use of a mold would explode from the resulting gases destroying the mold and Edgar Degas's original lifetime mixed-media sculpture. The Hebrard foundry and its workers made posthumous wax reproductions with their hands, fingers and fingerprints, subsequently reproducing in brass their imitation of Edgar Degas' mixed-media sculptures. Those 2nd-generation-removed brass reproductions were then used as a masters a.k.a. modeles to cast the resulting 3rd-generation-removed surmoulages [brass from brass]. A copy of a copy of a copy. Adding insult to injury, a counterfeit "Degas" signature was inscribed. Then the Hebrard foundry exceeded the contract limitation of 22 mandated by Degas's heirs. These references confirm these devastating facts:

  • DEGAS NEVER CAST IN BRONZE
    On page 180 in the National Gallery of Art’s published 1998 Degas at the Races catalogue in Daphne S. Barbour’s and Shelly G. Sturman’s “The Horse in Wax and Bronze” essay, these authors wrote: “Degas never cast his sculpture in bronze, claiming that it was a “tremendous responsibility to leave anything behind in bronze -- the medium is for eternity.”[FN 2]

    MIXED-MEDIA SCULPTURE
    On page 180 in the National Gallery of Art’s published 1998 Degas at the Races catalogue in Daphne S. Barbour’s and Shelly G. Sturman’s “The Horse in Wax and Bronze” essay, these authors wrote: “Not a single sculpture has been found to be made exclusively of wax, and none was intended to be sacrificed and melted during lost-wax casting.”[FN 3]

    POSTHUMOUS WAX REPRODUCTIONS
    On page 356 in the National Gallery of Art’s published 2010 Edgar Degas Sculpture catalogue, under the subtitle: “Glossary,” -intermodel- is defined as: “Wax copy of an original artist’s model made in a mold taken of the original; also referred to as a sacrificial wax. It is a wax melted out and lost in an indirect cast. As a method, it preserves the original artist’s model.”[FN 4]

    FOUNDER & FOUNDRY WORKERS' FINGERPRINTS
    On page 28 of the “Degas’ Bronzes Analyzed” essay by Shelley G. Sturman and Daphne S. Barbour in the National Gallery of Art’s published 2010 Edgar Degas Sculpture catalogue, the authors wrote: “In terms of overall surface quality, the bronzes appear to be smooth, faithful reproductions of the waxes. In some cases, however, tooling is not visible on the bronze where it is present on a wax. This discrepancy may be the result of additional work to the waxes after casting or to degeneration of the molds used for the casting, with the result that some of the casts, regardless of their letter sequence, may have less detail tha others. For instance, there is a finger print on the bronze version of Horse Racing (cat. 10) that is no present on the wax (cat. 9). Here even a foundryman’s fingerprint while handling the wax intermodel was reproduced in bronze. Adhemar notes that Palazzolo was able to detect a fake Degas bronze because he knew where to find his own fingerprints on the originals.”[FN 5]

    SURMOULAGES
    On page 78 n the essay “Degas; The Sculptures,” by Hirshhorn Curator of Sculpture Valerie J. Fletcher, published in Ann Dumas and David A. Brenneman’s 2001 Degas and America The Early Collectors catalogue, the author wrote: “In 1919-20 Hebrard’s founder Albino Palazzolo, made a first set of [Degas] bronzes. -- Those 'masters' served to make molds for casting edition of twenty-two bronzes. Technically, all bronzes except the master set are surmoulages.” In the ARTnews' published November 1974 "Flagrant Abuses, Pernicious Practices and Counterfeit Sculpture are Widespread" article, the Associate Editor Sylvia Hochfield defines -surmoulage- as: “smaller in scale and of demonstrably diminished definition than the bronze from which it was cast.”[FN 6]

    COUNTERFEIT SIGNATURES
    On page 32-33 in Charles W. Milliard’s 1976 The Sculpture of Edgar Degas, the author wrote: “Each cast is stamped with the legend 'cire perdue A.A. Hebrard' in relief, and incised with the signature ‘Degas.’” Later on page 34, the author wrote: “At least some of the casts were set on wooden bases into which the signature “Degas” was burned.”[FN 7]

    BOGUS EDITIONS
    On page 14 of the Degas Sculpture catalogue, in Joseph S. Czestochowski’s "Degas’s Sculptures Re-examined” essay, the author wrote: “Almost eight months after Degas died in September 1917, a contract to cast the sculptures in bronze was signed on 13 May 1918. - The contract authorized that the number of casts be strictly limited to only twenty-two examples of each of the sculptures, with only twenty of the cast available for sale - first set reserved for the artist’s heirs and another set reserved for the Hebrard Foundry.” Yet, Joseph S. Czestochowski wrote that Hebrard created “duplicates” by misleading marking them as “HER,” created an unauthorized set of bronzes “marked MODELE” and “released an unknown number of test casts, marked AP (founder’s initials), - FR MODELE (founder’s model), - FR (founder), - and a number of other exceptions to the 1918 contract.”[FN 8]


On page 670 of the Seventh Edition of Black's Law Dictionary, -fraud- is defined as: "A knowing misrepresentation of the truth or concealment of a material fact to induce another to act to his or her detriment." [FN 9]

The following briefly documents this fraud being perpetuated in the 2016 Degas: A New Vision exhibition.


Photo: https://www.mfah.org/calendar/conversations-with-the-director-gary-tinterow-talks-with-henri-loyrette
MFAH DIRECTOR GARY TINTEROW

FIRST, MFAH director Gary Tinterow is a member of the Association of Art Museum Directors [AAMD].[FN 10] As a AAMD member, he endorses the College Art Association's ethical guidelines on sculptural reproduction. In part, those guidelines state: "Any transfer into new material unless specifically condoned by the artist is to be considered inauthentic and should not be acquired or exhibited as works of art."[FN 11] So, MFAH director is violating his own endorsed ethical guidelines by exhibiting at least 20 non-disclosed posthumous 3rd-generation-removed brass [not bronze] forgeries with counterfeit "Degas" signatures in bogus editions.

The dead don't sculpt, sign or number, much less condone. 

  • NOTE: These are additional AAMD members, who endorse those same ethical guidelines, that are participating in this Degas: A New Vision exhibition at the MFAH:
    Smith College Museum of Art, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, Harvard Art Museum/Fogg Museum, National Gallery of Art, Rhode Island School of Design Museum of Art, Art Institute of Chicago, The Morgan Library, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, Brooklyn Museum, Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Toledo Museum of Art, The Phillips Collection, New York, Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Carnegie Museum of Art, Tacoma Art Museum, Baltimore Museum of Art, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond, Kimbell Art Museum, Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, Yale University Art Gallery, Art Gallery of Ontario, Dallas Museum of Art, High Museum of Art, Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, North Carolina Museum of Art, The J. Paul Getty Museum, Chrysler Museum of Art, Columbus Museum of Art, Saint Louis Art Museum, Princeton University Art Museum, and Arkansas Arts Center. 

    With a few just listed as "Private Collection," these are commercial galleries and private collectors participating in this Degas: A New Vision exhibition at the MFAH:
    Acquavalla Galleries, House Collection, Dumbarton Oaks, Kate Ganz, New York, Richard and Mary L. Gray Collection Trust, Chicago, The Lewis Collection, Houston, Collection of Andre Bromberg, Paris, Reading Public Museum, Pennsylvania, Collection of Mme Catherine Treves, Collection of Jean Bonna, Geneva, and Collection of R. Stanley Johnson and Ursula M. Johnson, Chicago. 

    These are foreign museums participating in this Degas: A New Vision exhibition at the MFAH:
    Musee d'Art modern Andre Malraux, Musee d'Orsay, Paris, Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, Institue national d'historie de l'art (INHA), Bibliotheque, Paris, Galerie Beres, Paris, Bibliotheque nationale de France, Paris, Kunstmauseum, Basel, Musee des Beaux-Arts de Lyon, Hiroshima Museum of Art, Museu de Arte de Sao Paulo, Assis Chateaubriand, British Museum, Glasgo Life (Glasgow Museums), Galerie Neue Meister, Staatliche, Victoria and Albert Museum, London, Acquavalla Galleries, Ordrupgaard, Charlottenlund, Denmark, Musee national Picasso-Paris, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, Staatliche Kunsthalle Karsruhe, Tate, London, Kunshaus, Zurich, Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, Koninklijk Museum voor Schone, Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid, Ordrupgaard, Charlottenlund, Musee departmental Stephane Mallarme, Von der Heydt Museum, Foundation Beyeler, Basel, Musee des Arts Decoratifs, Paris, National Gallery, London, Scottish National Gallery, Edinburgh, and Leicester Arts and Museum Service. 


SECONDon page 31 in the Association of Art Museum Directors' published  Professional Practices in Art Museum publication, it states: "museums must clearly indicate, through the use of integral markings on the objects, as well as signs, labels, and advertising, that these items are reproductions - signatures, editions numbers, and/or foundry marks on sculpture must not appear on the reproduction."[FN 12]

In other words, the 20 non-disclosed posthumous 3rd-generation-removed brass [not bronze] forgeries with counterfeit "Degas" signatures in bogus editions could not even be displayed in the MFAH's gift shop.

THIRD, the MFAH's Degas: A New Vision exhibition is indemnified by the National Endowment for the Arts. The NEA was mandated by Congress to indemnify works of visual art excluding reproductions.[FN 13] At best, by definition, rule of law and laws of nature, anything posthumously reproduced are reproductions. Under U.S. Copyright Law 106a, the Rights of Attribution shall not apply to reproductions.[FN 14]


FOURTH, on page 609 of the 610 page 1988 Degas exhibition catalogue, under the subtitle: "A Note on Degas's Bronzes," the [Metropolitan Museum of Art curator] Gary Tinterow wrote: "The bronzes included in this exhibition, like those widely distributed throughout the world, are posthumous, second-generation casts of the original wax sculptures by Degas." The current Museum of Fine Arts Houston director Gary Tinterow went on to write in the 1988 catalogue: "But the virtue of saving the original sculptures exacted a cost in the manufacture of the final edition bronzes, because with each the two generations after the original modele there was ineviably a significant loss of precision. Incidental details, such as fingerprints - appear indistinct or blurred in the final editions of the bronzes."[FN 15] The Metropolitan Museum of Art curator when on to write: "[Edgar Degas] would have deplored the casting of his sculptures."[FN 16]

The Little Fourteen-Year-Old Dancer, 1879-81, Bronze, partly tinted, cotton skirt, satin hair ribblon, wooden bass, Height: 17 1/2 in. (95.2 cm), Original: wax, cotton skirt, satin hair ribbon, hair, now covered with wax, wooden base, Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon, Upperville, Virginia. See figs. 150-160 [page 350, 1988 Degas exhibition catalogue]
NON-DISCLOSED POSTHUMOUS BRASS FORGERY

FIFTH, every date listed for the so-called Degas bronzes, in the 1988 Degas exhibition catalogue by Jean Sutherland Boggs, Douglas W. Druick, MIchael Pantazzi, Henri Loyrette and Gary Tinterow, predated his death. Yet, it took 609 pages in a 610 page 1988 Degas exhibition catalogue before anyone, much less the Metropolitan Museum of Art curator Gary Tinterow, disclosed that they were actually posthumous.

So, what are we to make of the MFAH's published July 25, 2016 "Degas Retrospective Debuts in the U.S. at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, in October" press release, where it stated: “The objective of Degas in 1988 was to piece together Degas’s work as a whole, in an accurate chronology; though it may seem surprising now, that had never been done,” said MFAH director Gary Tinterow."[FN 17]

In other words, as for the so-called "accurate chronology" for "Degas' work," it wasn't done in the 1988 Degas exhibition catalogue and 28 years later in the 2016 Degas: A New Vision exhibition catalogue, it is still not being done.

http://abc7chicago.com/news/dead-men-dont-sculpt-forgery-allegation-at-art-institute-/1132824/
"Dead Men Don't Sculpt: Forgery Allegation at the Art Institute," An ABC7 I-Team Investigation By Chuck Goudie and Ann Pistone

SIXTH, in a WLS ABC Chicago broadcast December 22, 2015 "Dead men don't sculpt: forgery allegation at Art Institute" investigative story by Chuck Goudie and Ann Pistone, the now Museum of Fine Arts Houston director Gary Tinterow made the following statement about Edgar Degas and bronze casting: “No, he's on record saying absolutely not. When dealers and friends would come by and say you really should cast these in bronze he said 'no, no, no. Bronze is for the ancients, bronze is too permanent. What I love is the malleability of these works."[FN 18]

So, when the MFAH and its director Gary Tinterow promotes on their website their Degas: A New Vision exhibition one of these 20 non-disclosed posthumous 3rd-generation-removed brass [not bronze] forgeries, with counterfeit "Degas" signatures in bogus editions, titled Little Dancer Aged Fourteen [website screenshot above] with a false date of "1879-81," should the public suspend disbelief or just believe for the $23 price of adult admission?

Rhetorically, how can the museum patron give informed consent without full and honest disclosure


SEVENTH, on pages 142 to 146 of the 2016 Degas: A New Vision exhibition catalogue, under the subtitle: "The Little Dancer," the so-called "eminent scholar and former Director of the Musee d'Orsay and the Musee du Louvre,"[FN 19] the exhibition curator Henri Loyrette wrote about Edgar Degas' 1881 exhibition of The little fourteen-year-old dancer. In part, the curator wrote: "It was not so much the surprise of discovering Degas the sculptor as the appearance of the this little wax body with a muslin petticoat falling on stockinged legs 'shod in real dance-shoes', crowned with a wig of plaited hair held by a pear-green ribbon and decorated with a choker of the same colour."[FN 20] 

Photo: https://www.mfah.org/calendar/conversations-with-the-director-gary-tinterow-talks-with-henri-loyrette
CURATOR HENRI LOYRETTE

Yet, on the subsequent pages 143 to 146 of this catalogue, photographs of a non-disclosed posthumous 3rd-generation-removed brass [not bronze] forgery with a counterfeit "Degas" signature on the wooden base in a bogus edition titled The little fourteen-year-old dancer were shown with the listed dates "1879-81, cast 1922-37."[FN 21] Edgar Degas never worked exclusively in wax for casting, never cast in bronze and never signed his lifetime mixed-media sculpture.

On page 137 of the Seventh Edition of Black's Law Dictionary, -bait and switch- is defined as: "Most states prohibit the bait and switch when the original product is not actually available as advertised."[FN 22]

Henri Loyrette baited with his "The Little Dancer" essay about Edgar Degas' lifetime mixed-media sculpture titled The little fourteen-year-old dancer then switched with the photographs of the non-disclosed posthumous 3rd-generation-removed brass [not bronze] forgery with a counterfeit "Degas" signature on the wooden base in a bogus edition titled The little fourteen-year-old dancer.



EIGHTH, on pages 240, 244, 249, and 251 of the 2016 Degas: A New Vision exhibition catalogue, under the subtitle: "Edgar Degas: Chronology," the [National Gallery of Victoria curator of International Painting and Sculpture] Dr. Sophie Matthiesson listed the following non-disclosed posthumous 3rd-generation-removed brass [not bronze] forgeries with counterfeit "Degas" signatures in bogus editions with dates that predated Edgar Degas's death in 1917:
  • "Edgar Degas, Horse at trough, 1867-68, Museu de Arte de Sao Paulo, Assis Chateaubriand,
  • "Edgar Degas, The little fourteen-year-old dancer, 1879-81, Museu de Arte de Sao Paulo, Assis Chateaubriand,
  • "Edgar Degas, Woman washing her left leg, c. 1890, Museu de Arte de Sao Paulo, Assis Chateaubriand, and
  • "Edgar Degas, The masseuse, c. 1896-1911, Museu de Arte de Sao Paulo, Assis Chateaubriand."[FN 23]

Horse at trough, 1867-68, cast 1919-32, bronze, 16.5 x 13.7 x 23.0 cm, Museu de Arte de Sao Paulo, Assis Chateaubriand, Donated by Alberto Jose Alves, Alberto Alves Filho and Alcino Riberiro de Lima [page 212, 2016 Degas: A New Vision exhibition catalogue]
NON-DISCLOSED POSTHUMOUS FORGERY 

On pages 143-146, 210, and 212 - 219 of the 2016 Degas: A New Vision exhibition catalogue, under the essay subtitled: "Degas: A New Vision," the exhibition curator  Henri Loyette listed all  20 Museu de Arte de Sao Paulo, Assis Chateaubriand's owned bronzes, attributed to Edgar Degas, with the dates "cast 1919-32." 

Edgar Degas died in 1917. The dead don't have a new vision.

So, does Dr. Sophie Matthiesson's left hand in her "Edgar Degas Chronology" know what Henri Loyette's right hand is doing in his "Degas: A New Vision" essay?

Photo: http://www.theaustralian.com.au/arts/state-gallery-suggests-stroll-in-monets-garden/story-e6frg8n6-1226506935572
NGV CURATOR DR. SOPHIE MATTHIESSON

NINTH, on page 233 of the 2016 Degas: A New Vision exhibition catalogue, under the subtitle: "The Life of Edgar Degas," the [National Gallery of Victoria Senior curator of International Art] Dr. Ted Gott wrote: "Sculpture was to be Degas's final artistic legacy. After his death in September 1917, about 150 wax sculptures were found in his studio, some broken but many intact. These depicted three subjects primarily: racehorses, ballerinas and women bathing. The artist's heirs subsequently authorised the casting in bronze, by the Adrien-A. Hebrard Foundry, Paris, and their Milanese caster Albino Palazzolo, of seventy-four of the most intact of Degas's wax sculptures."[FN 24] 


Photo: https://twitter.com/artsunimelb/status/777311204888883200
NGV CURATOR DR. TED GOTT

Remember, Edgar Degas created his lifetime sculpture in mixed-media, not exclusively in wax for casting as the NGV curator Dr. Ted Gott continues to perpetuate that mythology. 

CONCLUSION
The 20 non-disclosed posthumous 3rd-generation-removed brass [not bronze] forgeries with counterfeit "Degas" signatures in bogus editions, in the AAMD member Museum of Fine Art Houston's Degas: A New Vision exhibition, were posthumously cast in brass which is made of copper & zinc with low levels of tin versus bronze which is made with copper & tin.[FN 25] 

All brass and no Degas. 



NOTES:
Here are links to two of my online monographs to learn more about this fraud and attempts to obscure it by museum professionals:
  • http://garyarseneau.blogspot.com/2007/05/all-degas-bronze-sculptures-are-fake.html
  • http://garyarseneau.blogspot.com/2010/01/propaganda-how-art-gallery-of-alberta.html 
WTSP investigative reporter Mike Deeson did a wonderful investigative piece on a similar Degas exhibition at the Tampa Museum of Art in 2011. Here is the link: 


FOOTNOTES:
1. Copyright © 1999, By West Group, ISBN 0-314-22864-0

2. © 1998 National Gallery of Art ISBN 0-300-07517-0

3. Ibid

4. © ISBN 978-0-691-14897-7 National Gallery of Art, Washington, www.nga.gov

5. Ibid

6. Copyright © 2000 by High Museum of Art, ISBN 0-8478-2340-7

7. © 1976 by Princeton University Press ISBN 0-691-00318-1

8. © 2002 International Arts and The Torch Press ISBN 0-9716408-07

9. Copyright © 1999, By West Group, ISBN 0-314-22864-0

10. https://aamd.org/our-members/members

11.“A Statement on Standards for Sculptural Reproduction and Preventive Measures to Combat Unethical Casting in Bronze Approved by the CAA Board of Directors, April 27, 1974. Endorsed by the Association of Art Museum Directors and the Art Dealers Association of America.”
www.collegeart.org/caa/ethics/sculpture.html
Updated and Adopted by the Board of Directors on February 17, 2013. 
http://www.collegeart.org/guidelines/sculpture

12. Under the title “Reproductions of Works of Art” and documented as “adopted by the membership of the AAMD, January 1979; amended 2001, Copyright 2001 by the Association of Art Museum Directors ( ISBN 1-880974-02-0 ) Address: 41 East 65th Street, New York, New York 10021
“Art museums legitimately generate income through the sale of such educational materials as catalogues, books, postcards, and reproductions. The manufacture and knowledgeable use of reproductions for teaching purposes or in a decorative context is appropriate. However, a proliferation of “art-derived” materials, coupled with misleading marketing of reproductions, has created such widespread confusion as to require clarification in order to maintain professional standards.
“When producing and/or selling reproductions, museums must clearly indicate, through the use of integral markings on the objects, as well as signs, labels, and advertising, that these items are reproductions. Signatures, print edition numbers, and printer’s symbols or titles must not appear in the reproduction if in the original they occur outside the borders of the image. Similarly, signatures, edition numbers, and/or foundry marks on sculpture must not appear on the reproduction.
“Reproductions must be in materials and/or sizes other than those uses by the artist in the original works of art. Although reproductions of decorative arts serving functional purposes may pose special problems in this regard, the fact that they are reproductions should be clearly indicated on the object.
“The touting of exaggerated investment value of reproductions must be avoided because of object or work being offered for purchase is not original and the resale value is highly in doubt.
“When advertising reproductions, museums should not use language implying that there is any identity of quality between the copy and the original or lead the potential buyer to believe that by purchasing any such reproductions, he or she is acquiring an original work of art.”

13. https://www.arts.gov/sites/default/files/TheAct.pdf


15.Publisher: Metropolitan Museum of Art/National Gallery of Canada; First edition (July 14, 1988), ISBN-10: 0888845812, ISBN-13: 978-0888845818

16. Ibid

17. https://www.mfah.org/press/degas-retrospective-debuts-us-museum-fine-arts-houston-october
  • Degas Retrospective Debuts in the U.S. at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, in October

    Former Louvre director Henri Loyrette and MFAH director Gary Tinterow revisit Degas’s work three decades after their landmark 1988 Degas exhibition

    Featuring more than 200 works, Degas: A New Vision builds on 30 years of scholarship

    HOUSTON—July 25, 2016—This fall, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, will be the exclusive U.S. venue for Degas: A New Vision, the most significant international survey in three decades of the work of Hilaire-Germain-Edgar Degas (1834–1917). While Degas’s reputation has often been confined to his ballet imagery, the artist’s oeuvre is rich, complex, and abundant, spanning the entire second half of the 19th century and the first years of the 20th. Opening October 16, Degas: A New Vision will assemble some 200 works from public and private collections around the world, and showcase Degas’s abiding interests across painting, drawing, photography, printmaking, and sculpture.

    The MFAH has developed this major retrospective with the National Gallery of Victoria, in association with Art Exhibitions Australia. Some 60 additional loans will be exclusive to the Houston presentation, including such major works as Dancers, Pink and Green, from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, as well as preparatory drawings reunited with the iconic paintings that evolved from them, including Ballet Scene from Meyerbeer's Opera “Robert the Devil.”

    Not since the 1988 landmark retrospective Degas—organized by Henri Loyrette, then at the Grand Palais in Paris; Gary Tinterow, then a curator at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York; and the late Jean Sutherland Boggs of the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa—has the artist’s career been fully assessed. “The objective of Degas in 1988 was to piece together Degas’s work as a whole, in an accurate chronology; though it may seem surprising now, that had never been done,” said MFAH director Gary Tinterow. “That exhibition led to a revival of interest in Degas, and dozens of shows focused on individual subjects of his work—the bathers, the dancers, the jockeys, the portraits—or his influence on other artists. Now, we are able to benefit from that scholarship and, led by Henri Loyrette, the preeminent Degas biographer and scholar, put Degas back together again, and see the artist anew.”

    “Degas: A New Vision will explore Degas’s measured continuity, his journey as he reworks one painting after another, and his total refusal to settle on a definitive composition,” commented Henri Loyrette, the Paris-based Degas scholar and former director of the Louvre who is the organizing curator of the exhibition. “This is the distinctive genius of Degas, which makes him both a precursor and particularly relevant to today. Each period looks at the artist in a different way. What can he tell us today? That is the basic purpose of this show.”

    Exhibition Overview
    Degas: A New Vision reveals the continuity within Degas’s work from the beginning to the end of his career, as he restlessly moved among the media of oil painting, drawing, pastel, photography, printmaking, and sculpture, all the while employing common themes and approaches, revisiting poses and motifs that he had used decades earlier, and reworking paintings that he kept in his studio.

    Degas’s earliest work, from the mid-1850s, is rooted in the Renaissance; in one early self-portrait he depicts himself as a Florentine courtier. By the late 1850s, Degas had shifted to multi-figure compositions, among them the double portrait of his brother-in-law and sister, Edmondo and Thérèse Morbilli (1865). This vignette of daily life, set in a nondescript, bourgeois environment, reveals a fascinating interplay of the couples’ relationship: in this depiction, Thérèse remains no more than the shadow of her husband, half hidden behind the table, with one hand grasping her cheek and the other anxiously reaching for Edmondo. 

    From paintings like the Morbilli portrait, Degas moved to modern history painting based on classical subjects, experimenting as he deployed multiple figures on a canvas. In two studies for Young Spartans Exercising and Scene of War, both from the mid-1860s, Degas uses a range of expressive posture and unusual pose that had not been seen before in painting. In addition, both works feature posed figures that Degas would revisit in very different contexts 20, even 40 years later.

    By the late 1860s, Degas had abandoned these mythological and classical subjects. “After a great many essays and experiments and trial shots in all directions, he has fallen in love with modern life,” the great critic, artist, and writer Edmond de Goncourt wrote in 1874, following a visit to Degas’s studio.

    At his height, in the 1870s and 1880s, Degas pursued every facet, high and low, of modern life: café scenes, in his iconic In a café (1875), also known as L’absinthe; jockeys and steeplechases, in Out of the Paddock (Racehorses) (1868–72) and Before the Race (c. 1882); student ballerinas in Dance Foyer of the Opera at Rue Le Peletier (1872), The Dance Class (1873), and Dancers, Pink and Green (1890); everyday routines in the brothel, in The Name Day of the Madam (1879); life below stairs, in Women Ironing (1884–86). A trip to visit his mother’s family in Louisiana produced his famous A Cotton Market in New Orleans (1873). All are complex, multi-figure compositions with the focus on the incidental or the moment of anticipation: a young dancer about to perform a step; the top-hatted silhouette of a standing man in a room crowded with young ballerinas; the man reading the newspaper amid the bustle of the cotton exchange.

    Still, Degas continued to mine his earlier work for poses and postures. The young lady leaning on her elbows toward a man at his desk in the 1870 interior Sulking, who looks up at the viewer as if interrupted, becomes the older woman in a pensive tête-à-tête in the 1885 Conversation. Degas would continue to explore variations on a single subject, such as the female nude, creating them in different media across more than half a century. A lesser-known aspect of this creative journey included a short, but intensive, foray into photography. Degas’s photographs—the majority of which were produced during the year 1895 and feature his inner circle of family members, friends, and fellow artists—reveal how the artist used the medium both as part of a creative continuum that included paintings and pastels and as an experiment with a new form of visual expression, resulting in photographic figure studies, portraits, and self-portraits that stand alone as works of art in their own right. Degas: A New Vision will unite over 20 of his surviving photographs for the first time since the 1998 exhibition Edgar Degas: Photographer, which debuted at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and traveled to the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles and the Bibliothèque Nationale de France in Paris.

    “Thirty years ago, no one even considered Degas’s late work, but the 1988 exhibition changed the public’s mind,” Loyrette said. Tinterow added, “The revelation then was how strong and modern the end of Degas’s career was—allowing us to see, for example, how artists like Lucien Freud can show us the shocking modernity of late Degas, and how we can appreciate the extravagant color and expressive line.” Degas himself said that by the 1890s he had given himself over to “an orgy of color.” The two figures in Combing the Hair (The Coiffure, 1896; once owned by Henri Matisse) are rendered in a blaze of red; The Bathers and other late studies depict female nude figures—alone or in groups; some composed, others random. For Degas, these expressions of the female form showed women as they saw, rather than imagined, themselves.

    Although organized chronologically overall, the exhibition will also present specific groupings devoted to a particular theme or technique. In all, some 200 works will trace Degas’s career, across painting, drawing, photography, printmaking, and sculpture. The exhibition is drawn from private collections around the world as well as public collections that include those of the Musée d’Orsay in Paris, the National Gallery of London; the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Harvard Art Museums; Yale University Art Gallery; the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; the Philadelphia Museum of Art; the Brooklyn Museum of Art; the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles; the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum in Madrid; and the Kunstmuseum Basel in Switzerland.

    Publication
    The exhibition will be accompanied by the monographic publication Degas: A New Vision, with principal essays by Henri Loyrette and a foreword by Tony Ellwood, director of the National Gallery of Victoria; Gary Tinterow, director of the MFAH; and Carol Henry, CEO of Art Exhibitions Australia.

    Organization and Funding
    This exhibition is organized by the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne; and Art Exhibitions Australia. This exhibition is supported by an indemnity from the Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities.

    Lead foundation underwriting is provided by:
    Kinder Foundation
    The Hamill Foundation

    Lead corporate sponsor:

    BBVA Compass

    With additional generous funding from:
    Anchorage Foundation of Texas
    Mr. and Mrs. Meredith J. Long
    River Oaks District
    CHRISTIE’S
    National Endowment for the Arts
    Norton Rose Fulbright
    Carol and Michael Linn
    Scaler Foundation, Inc.
    Ann G. Trammell 


    Official Promotional Partners:

    Houston Public Media Telemundo Houston

    About the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
    Founded in 1900, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, is among the 10 largest art museums in the United States. Located in the heart of Houston’s Museum District, the MFAH comprises two gallery buildings, a sculpture garden, theater, two art schools, and two libraries, with two house museums, for American and European decorative arts, nearby. The encyclopedic collection of the MFAH numbers more than 65,000 works and spans the art of antiquity to the present.

    Media Contacts
    Mary Haus, head of marketing and communications
    713.639.7554 / mhaus@mfah.org

    Laine Lieberman, publicist
    713.639.7516 / llieberman@mfah.org


18. http://abc7chicago.com/news/dead-men-dont-sculpt-forgery-allegation-at-art-institute-/1132824/

19.© National Gallery of Victoria, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, and Art Exhibitions Australia, 2016, ISBN: 978-0-89090-191-5 (paperback)

20. Ibid

21. Ibid

22. Copyright © 1999, By West Group, ISBN 0-314-22864-0

23. Ibid

24. Ibid

25.© 2010 ISBN 978-0-691-14897-7, National Gallery of Art, Washington, www.nga.gov



CHECKLIST
https://www.ngv.vic.gov.au/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/PCOL-FINAL-MWM2016-DEGAS-illustrated-checklist.pdf

Protection of Cultural Objects on Loan
Exhibition: Melbourne Winter Masterpieces 2016 Degas: A New Vision
Exhibition Dates: 24 June – 18 Sept 2016
All works are by: Edgar DEGAS, French 1834–1917


Horse at trough (Cheval à l’abreuvoir) (1865–68), cast (1919–32)
bronze
16.5 x 13.7 x 23.0 cm
Czestochowski/Pingeot 13 (cast S)
Museu de Arte de São Paulo, Assis Chateaubriand
Donated by Alberto José Alves, Alberto Alves Filho and Alcino Ribeiro de Lima (395 E)

The little fourteen-year-old dancer (La Petite danseuse de 14 ans) (1879–81), cast (1922–37)
bronze with cotton skirt and satin ribbon
99.0 x 35.2 x 24.5 cm
Czestochowski/Pingeot 73 (cast unlettered)
Museu de Arte de São Paulo, Assis Chateaubriand
Donated by Alberto José Alves, Alberto Alves Filho and Alcino Ribeiro de Lima (426 E)

Horse walking (Cheval en marche) (probably before 1881), cast (1919–32)
bronze
21.0 x 26.6 x 9.6 cm
Czestochowski/Pingeot 10 (cast S)
Museu de Arte de São Paulo, Assis Chateaubriand
Donated by Alberto José Alves, Alberto Alves Filho and Alcino Ribeiro de Lima (405 E)


Dancer adjusting the shoulder strap of her bodice (Danseuse attachant l'épaulette de son corsage) (1882–95), cast
(1919–32)
bronze
35.2 15.9 x 11.8 cm
Czestochowski/Pingeot 64 (cast S)
Museu de Arte de São Paulo, Assis Chateaubriand
Donated by Alberto José Alves, Alberto Alves Filho and Alcino Ribeiro de Lima (381 E)


Dancer rubbing her knee (Danseuse se frottant le genou) (c. 1884–85), cast (1919–32)
bronze
31.0 x 24.0 x 14.1 cm
Czestochowski/Pingeot 39 (cast S)
Museu de Arte de São Paulo, Assis Chateaubriand
Donated by Alberto José Alves, Alberto Alves Filho and Alcino Ribeiro de Lima (380 E)


Head resting on one hand (Portrait, tête appuyée sur la main) (c. 1885–88), cast (1919–32)
bronze
12.0 x 17.5 x 16.2 cm
Czestochowski/Pingeot 62 (cast S)
Museu de Arte de São Paulo, Assis Chateaubriand
Donated by Alberto José Alves, Alberto Alves Filho and Alcino Ribeiro de Lima (424 E)


The tub (Le Tub) (1888–89), cast (1919–32)
bronze
22.5 x 45.0 x 42.0 cm
Czestochowski/Pingeot 26 (cast S)
Museu de Arte de São Paulo, Assis Chateaubriand
Donated by Alberto José Alves, Alberto Alves Filho and Alcino Ribeiro de Lima (409 E)


Horse balking (Cheval se dressant) (1880s), cast (1919–32)
bronze
28.0 x 41.0 x 24.5 cm
Czestochowski/Pingeot 48 (cast S)
Museu de Arte de São Paulo, Assis Chateaubriand
Donated by Alberto José Alves, Alberto Alves Filho and Alcino Ribeiro de Lima (396 E)


Rearing horse (Cheval se cabrant) (1880s), cast (1919–32)
bronze
30.9 x 23.7 x 23.5 cm
Czestochowski/Pingeot 4 (cast E)
Museu de Arte de São Paulo, Assis Chateaubriand
Donated by Alberto José Alves, Alberto Alves Filho and Alcino Ribeiro de Lima (397 E)


Dancer at rest, hands behind her back, right leg forward (Danseuse au repos, les mains sur les hanches, jambe
droite en avant) (c. 1890), cast (1919–32)
bronze
44.7 x 14.7 x 23.5 cm
Czestochowski/Pingeot 41 (cast S)
Museu de Arte de São Paulo, Assis Chateaubriand
Donated by Alberto José Alves, Alberto Alves Filho and Alcino Ribeiro de Lima (377 E)


Picking apples (Cueillette des pommes) (c. 1890), cast (1919–32)
bronze
44.7 x 47.6 x 9.3 cm
Czestochowski/Pingeot 37 (cast S)
Museu de Arte de São Paulo, Assis Chateaubriand
Donated by Alberto José Alves, Alberto Alves Filho and Alcino Ribeiro de Lima (425 E)


Woman washing her left leg (Femme se lavant la jambe gauche) (c. 1890), cast (1919–32)
bronze
20.0 x 14.5 x 19.3 cm
Czestochowski/Pingeot 61 (cast S)
Museu de Arte de São Paulo, Assis Chateaubriand
Donated by Alberto José Alves, Alberto Alves Filho and Alcino Ribeiro de Lima (417 E)


Dancer looking at the sole of her right foot (Danseuse regardant la plante de son pied droit) (c. 1890–1900), cast
(1919–32)
bronze
45.5 x 20.0 x 19.5 cm
Czestochowski/Pingeot 40 (cast C)
Museu de Arte de São Paulo, Assis Chateaubriand
Donated by Alberto José Alves, Alberto Alves Filho and Alcino Ribeiro de Lima (388 E)


Woman taken unawares (Femme surprise) (c. 1892), cast (1919–32)
bronze
40.7 x 28.0 x 19.0 cm
Czestochowski/Pingeot 42 (cast S)
Museu de Arte de São Paulo, Assis Chateaubriand
Donated by Alberto José Alves, Alberto Alves Filho and Alcino Ribeiro de Lima (414 E)


The masseuse (La Masseuse) (c. 1896–1911), cast (1919–32)
bronze
43.0 x 38.0 x 30.0 cm
Czestochowski/Pingeot 55 (cast S)
Museu de Arte de São Paulo, Assis Chateaubriand
Donated by Alberto José Alves, Alberto Alves Filho and Alcino Ribeiro de Lima (421 E)


Woman rubbing her back with a sponge (Femme se frottant le dos avec une éponge) (c. 1900), cast (1919–32)
bronze
49.5 x 29.5 x 17.6 cm
Czestochowski/Pingeot 28 (cast C)
Museu de Arte de São Paulo, Assis Chateaubriand
Donated by Alberto José Alves, Alberto Alves Filho and Alcino Ribeiro de Lima (408 E)


Dancer looking at the sole of her right foot (Second study) (Danseuse regardant la plante de son pied droit.
Deuxième étude) (c. 1900–10), (cast 1919–37 or later)
bronze
47.3 x 24.3 x 20.8 cm
Czestochowski/Pingeot 59 (cast T)
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Purchased with funds donated by Leigh Clifford AO and Sue Clifford, 2016


Seated woman wiping the nape of her neck (Femme assise s'essuyant la nuque) (c. 1901), cast (1919–32)
bronze0 x 26.0 c
31.5 x 30 x 26.0 c0.m
Czestochowski/Pingeot 44 (cast S)
Museu de Arte de São Paulo, Assis Chateaubriand
Donated by Alberto José Alves, Alberto Alves Filho and Alcino Ribeiro de Lima (411 E)


Seated woman wiping her left side (Femme assise s'essuyant la hanche gauche) (c. 1901–11), cast (1919–32)
bronze
35.0 x 30.5 x 30.4 cm
Czestochowski/Pingeot 46 (cast S)
Museu de Arte de São Paulo, Assis Chateaubriand
Donated by Alberto José Alves, Alberto Alves Filho and Alcino Ribeiro de Lima (420 E)


Woman seated in an armchair wiping her left armpit (Femme assise dans un fauteuil s'essuyant l'aisselle gauche)
(c. 1901–11), cast (1919–32)
bronze
31.5 x 33.0 x 19.0 cm
Czestochowski/Pingeot 43 (cast S)
Museu de Arte de São Paulo, Assis Chateaubriand
Donated by Alberto José Alves, Alberto Alves Filho and Alcino Ribeiro de Lima (413 E)

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