NASHVILLE, TENN. – The Frist Art Museum will be the first stop for an exhibition of paintings, decorative art, furniture, garments and more that revives the splendor of Paris during the Belle Ãpoque – “Paris 1900: City of Entertainment” reveals the splendor of the French capital at the turn of the Twentieth Century, when millions visited the site of the International Exposition.
Organized by the Petit Palais Museum of Fine Arts in Paris, with additional loans from other Parisian museums, the exhibition will be on view in the Frist’s Ingram Gallery from October 12 through January 6.
With the International Exhibition of 1900 as its starting point, the exhibition offers a focused look at the different ways in which Paris became the entertainment capital of the world. Belle Ãpoque Paris, a period of relative peace and prosperity stretching from 1874 to 1914, was the site of intense artistic and architectural innovation, which gave rise to entertainment forms that continue to remain relevant.
Bringing together more than 250 objects from paintings, prints and sculptures to decorative art, costumes and fashion accessories, posters, photographs and more – kept mainly by the City of Paris museums – “Paris 1900” immerses visitors in the era’s sparkling atmosphere of elegance, pleasure and festivity. Major artists represented in the exhibition include Pierre Bonnard, Berthe Morisot, Camille Pissarro, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Auguste Rodin, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec and Ãdouard Vuillard, as well as many others working across multiple mediums.
The exhibition also tells the story of a vibrant and swiftly changing city. Although Paris was quite different from its idealized representation in posters and advertisements, the turn of the century was indeed an exceptional time. The city was growing rapidly and had a population of nearly three million by 1914. Additionally, Paris attracted travelers for both business and leisure. “It is fitting that Nashville is the first stop of this exhibition’s tour,” says Frist Art Museum curator Katie Delmez. “Like Paris in 1900, Nashville is also in the process of dramatically transforming itself into not only a national cultural hub, but an international destination for entertainment as well. The similarities are striking.”
The objects will be presented in six groupings: “Paris, Showcase of the World”; “Art Nouveau”; “Paris, Capital of the Arts”; “The Parisian Woman”; “Traversing Paris”; and “Paris by Night.”
“‘Paris 1900: City of Entertainment’ offers a rare and in-depth look into the spirit of joie de vivre that pervaded Paris at the turn of the last century,” says Delmez. “While the burst of optimism and creative energy would be halted with the outbreak of World War I, the exhibition brilliantly captures and retells the period’s long-lasting influence on future generations.”
There will be a raft of public programs associated with “Paris 1900,” from curator tours with Mary Weaver Chapin and Katie Delmez to family days, studio and printmaking workshops and other programs.
The Frist is at 919 Broadway. For further information or to see a list of all programs, 615-244-3340 or www.fristartmuseum.org.