Detroit Institute of Arts to open two major painting exhibitions October 22: 'Monet: Framing Life' and 'Church: A Painter’s Pilgrimage'

  • DETROIT, Michigan
  • /
  • September 17, 2017

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“The Artist’s House at Argenteuil,” 1873, Claude Monet, oil on canvas. The Art Institute of Chicago. Mr. and Mrs. Martin A. Ryerson Collection, 1933.1153

Art lovers will get a two-for-one treat when the Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA) opens two major exhibitions on Oct. 22. “Church: A Painter’s Pilgrimage” will be on view through Jan. 15, 2018 and “Monet: Framing Life” will run through March 4, 2018.

“We are fortunate to be able to open two separate exhibitions by two major artists side-by-side,” said Salvador Salort-Pons, DIA director. “The works we have assembled by Church and Monet will transport visitors to distinct places and time in history, allowing them to experience the world as the artists did.”

“Rounded Flower Bed (Corbeille de fleurs),” 1876, Claude Monet, oil on canvas. Detroit Institute of Arts

“Church: A Painter’s Pilgrimage” focuses on American artist Frederic Church’s paintings done in the Middle East, Athens and Rome. Church was the most popular and financially successful painter in mid-19th-century America, best known for his large paintings of wild places in North and South America, the North Atlantic and the Caribbean. But from the late 1860s until the late 1870s, many of his most important paintings represented ancient cities or buildings that he had seen on his 1867 to 1869 trip to the Middle East and the Mediterranean.

While Church’s paintings of the Americas are primarily concerned with nature, his major paintings of Middle Eastern, Greek and Roman themes concentrate on human history. The exhibition compares numerous pencil drawings and oil studies that Church completed during his trip to the major paintings he completed back in his studio.

A catalog accompanies the exhibition. Support for the catalogue has been provided by the Ida and Conrad Smith Fund.

This exhibition has been organized by the Detroit Institute of Arts. Generous support has been provided by the Terra Foundation for American Art and the Henry Luce Foundation. Additional support has been provided by the National Endowment for the Arts. A significant loan of objects has been provided by Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum.

“The Parthenon,” 1871, Frederic Church, oil on canvas. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Bequest of Maria DeWitt Jesup, from the collection of her husband, Morris K. Jesup, 1914 (15.30.67)

The exhibition will travel to two additional venues in 2018: Reynolda House Museum of Art in Winston-Salem, NC from Feb. 8 to May 13, 2018 and the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art in Hartford, CT from June 2 to Aug. 26, 2018. 

“Monet: Framing Life” is an intimate exhibition focusing on an important painting in the DIA collection—Claude Monet’s “Rounded Flower Bed (Corbeille de fleurs)” from 1876, formerly known as “Gladioli” and recently retitled based on new research. Monet created this work while living in the Paris suburb of Argenteuil between late 1871 and early 1878, an especially productive time. It was there that he met and worked beside fellow avant-garde painters that formed the group now known as the Impressionists.

This exhibition brings the DIA’s painting together with 10 other Argenteuil paintings by Monet and fellow impressionist Pierre-Auguste Renoir—including seven major loans from the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. In doing so, the exhibition presents a more comprehensive story about the creation of “Rounded Flower Bed (Corbeille de fleurs)” and how it fits into Monet’s body of work, as well as the history of Impressionism more broadly.

A catalog accompanies the exhibition.

Visitors can see both exhibitions for one ticket price: $16 for adults, $7 for ages 6–17. For Wayne, Oakland and Macomb county residents, $10 for adults, $5 for ages 6–17. Free for DIA members. DIA members can reserve their free tickets beginning Sept. 15 and general public tickets go on sale Oct. 1. To reserve or purchase tickets, go to in new window) or in new window).

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