I had the opportunity to visit the Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art for the Town and Country: From Degas to Picasso exhibit. Oh MY GOODNESS! I liked this exhibit for SO many reasons. I will give you my top five:
(Yes, these are lousy images. I only had an iPhone 4 on me at the time. 'Cause who knew I could take photos?!)
They allowed non-flash photography of the artwork - because "art is meant to be shared". W-H-A-T?! Now there's a concept. I have been to many museums that do not allow photography and, invariably, there is someone snapping photos anyway. It has always felt like those of us who play by the rules are the ones being punished. But at this exhibition, they actually embraced the change in technology and encouraged sharing the art on Instagram and Twitter with the #bgfa hashtag. Seriously, if there are folks who are going to take photos anyway, might as well use it to promote the art, exhibit, and/or gallery. Genius!
The Bellagio Gallery is an intimate venue that even provides a sitting area with books related to the art exhibited. This provided an opportunity to sit and enjoy the artwork a little longer, maybe peruse a few related books to read a little more about some of the works... The intimate size of the venue also allows you to get close to the artwork and appreciate details. However, it is also large enough to step away from the works for a new vantage point - you know, the way art was meant to be appreciated. More genius!
The subject matter, or curation, of the "theme" of the exhibit was both interesting and unique. The exhibit focuses on the resulting divide of the rural and city life sparked by the Industrial Revolution. Each artist's vantage point adds a new dimension to the subject.
You are also able to see the beginning influence of the new medium of photography make an appearance in how some artists began "framing" their subject matter. (The Gallery provides an audio tour of the exhibit that is included with your ticket. I highly recommend saying YES when they ask if you would like the audio.)
The Renoir... "Children on the Seashore"... I have no words. It has to be seen. And, it has to be seen in person. Up close...Far away... From the side... From the other side. ...you get the idea.
Kudos to the Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.