Toledo Museum of Art to Host Manet Portraiture Exhibition

An exhibition of portraits by acclaimed French artist Edouard Manet, sometimes referred to as “the father of Impressionism,” opens this fall at the Toledo Museum of Art, the exclusive North American venue for Manet: Portraying Life.

Co-organized by TMA and the Royal Academy of Arts, London, the exhibition will be seen Oct. 7, 2012–Jan.1, 2013 in Toledo. The exhibition will move to the Royal Academy of Arts for exhibition Jan. 26–April 14, 2013.

A contemporary of the Impressionists, Manet (1832–1883) was the most stylish of the 19th– century French painters and a major recorder of Parisian life at that time. The exhibition is the first in- depth examination of Manet’s considerable talents as a portraitist. Manet painted his family, friends and the literary, political and artistic figures of his day, often in casual settings rather than traditionally posed portraits. His subjects come to life on canvas, making the viewer curious to know more about these people and their lives.

Nearly 40 portraits by Manet, in addition to numerous photographs will be featured in the exhibition. The works will travel to Toledo from museums in Europe, North America and Japan.

“Manet: Portraying Life will offer our visitors an important and unique opportunity to consider the portraits of a great French painter,” said Toledo Museum of Art Director Brian Kennedy. “We are proud to be organizers and to be the only venue for the exhibition in North America.”

Two corporations, Block Communications Inc. and BP America, are sponsoring this major exhibition in the United States.

“We’re thrilled to have Block Communications and BP as major sponsors and co-presenters,” Kennedy said. “Block Communications is a major local and regional business, and the Museum has had a long involvement with the Block family in Toledo. BP is a major international corporation with a long history of supporting the arts and has a major presence in our area through its refining facility based in Oregon.”

Lawrence W. Nichols, William Hutton senior curator, European and American painting and sculpture before 1900 at TMA, and MaryAnne Stevens, exhibition curator at the London Royal Academy of Arts, are exhibition curators. When each learned the other was organizing a Manet exhibition, they embarked on a collaboration that has resulted in this exhibition.

“The Museum and the Royal Academy expect widespread interest in Manet because the artist is one of the greatest Western European painters,” Nichols said.

“Central to understanding his work is an examination of his portraits and how his work transformed into scenes of everyday French life. This exhibition is the first to examine Manet’s work in this way,” Nichols noted, adding that a full-color companion book to the show will be available for purchase through the Museum Store.
In addition to the two major corporate sponsors, Manet: Portraying Life is made possible by TMA members and supported in part by the Ohio Arts Council’s sustainable grant program funded by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Tickets to the exhibition are $8 for adults and $5 for seniors and students. Children 5 and under are free with a paid adult admission. Museum members receive free unlimited admission to Manet: Portraying Life. An audio tour will be available for $3. Docent-led tours also will be offered.

The Museum is located at 2445 Monroe Street at Scottwood Avenue, just west of the downtown business district and one block off I-75 with exit designations posted. For general information, visitors can call 419-255-8000 or 800-644-6862, or visit

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