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Mississippi Museum of Art Presents Spanish Sojourns: Robert Henri and the Spirit of Spain

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Media Contact: Julian Rankin jrankin@msmuseumart.org 601-960-1515

Mississippi Museum of Art Presents
Spanish Sojourns: Robert Henri and the Spirit of Spain
and
Robert Henri and Spain, Face to Face
September 27, 2014 – January 4, 2015
Two presentations in The Annie Laurie Swaim Hearin Memorial Exhibition Series

(Jackson, Miss.) ... The Mississippi Museum of Art (the Museum) is pleased to present the landmark exhibition Spanish Sojourns: Robert Henri and the Spirit of Spain. The exhibition will be on view in The Donna and Jim Barksdale Galleries for Changing Exhibitions September 27, 2014 – January 4, 2015. Spanish Sojourns is the fourteenth presentation in The Annie Laurie Swaim Hearin Memorial Exhibition Series. Established in 1989 to honor the memory of Annie Laurie Swaim Hearin, one of the Museum’s most dedicated patrons and volunteers, the Hearin series showcases exhibitions of world-class art, attracting visitors to Jackson from across Mississippi, the Southeast, and beyond.

Organized by Telfair Museums in Savannah, Georgia, this groundbreaking show is the first museum exhibition dedicated to the Spanish paintings of Robert Henri (1865-1929), one of the most influential American artists of the early 20th century. Widely celebrated as a leading figure in the Ashcan School, Henri played a pivotal role in the history of American art as one of the key organizers of the progressive 1908 exhibition of the Eight, a group of artists who protested the ultra-conservative National Academy of Design. Throughout his career, Henri championed the realistic portrayal of contemporary life. This nationally-touring exhibition debuted at Telfair Museums and traveled to the San Diego Museum of Art before its run at the Museum in Jackson.

“Numerous of Henri’s paintings from his extended sojourns in Spain, as well as those which were profoundly influenced by his experience of Spain—but painted in his New York studio—are true masterpieces,” said Roger Ward, Deputy Director and Chief Curator at the Museum. “But they are less well-known than his Irish oeuvre, for example, because the greatest works remain in private hands or were acquired relatively early by museums all over the United States, some of which are off the beaten path for many American art lovers and tourists alike. The paintings in Lincoln, Nebraska, and Waterville, Maine, for instance, come first to mind, as well as the two splendid portraits found here in Mississippi: Young Woman in Yellow Satin (1907) in our own collection, and The Brown Wrap (1911) in the Lauren Rogers Museum of Art in Laurel.”

Spain and its people held a particular fascination for Henri, who was attracted to the nation’s sunny climate, ancient culture, and spirited citizens. He first visited Spain in 1900 and returned six times between 1906 and 1926, often for extended stays. Henri’s portraits reflect his admiration for the great Spanish masters Jusepe de Ribera, and Diego Velázquez, whose works he studied closely.

An accompanying exhibition, Robert Henri and Spain, Face to Face. An Exhibition about Connoisseurship, Conservation, and Context, will be on view in The William B. and Isabel R. McCarty Foundation Gallery. Also a presentation of The Annie Laurie Swaim Hearin Memorial Exhibition Series, Robert Henri and Spain, Face to Face presents works by Robert Henri and by his Spanish, French, and American predecessors who directed his attention to Spanish painters of the Golden Age— El Greco, Ribera, Manet, Cassatt, and Sargent. Exhibited for the first time outside the Robert Henri Museum in Cozad, Nebraska, will be the artist’s magnificent copy, painted in June 1900, of Velázquez’s state portrait of Mariana of Austria, Queen of Spain (which today, as then, is found in the collection of the Prado Museum, Madrid).

“The Face to Face exhibition which we have organized will provide the Jackson visitor with a perfect introduction to the larger exhibition, Spanish Sojourns,” said Betsy Bradley, Director of the Museum. “How exciting it is to be able to display exquisite works by great artists such as El Greco, Ribera, Manet, and Mary Cassatt alongside the beautiful works of John Singer Sargent and Henri himself, paintings which pay homage to the Spanish predecessor they both revered, Diego Velázquez.”

An avid traveler, Henri produced some of his boldest and most compelling likenesses in Spain, drawing from a wide range of bohemian cultural figures including singers, dancers, musicians, bullfighters, gypsies, and peasants. He was attracted by the emotional expressions and wild undercurrents he perceived in Spanish culture and by the nation’s rich traditions of music, dance, and bullfighting. The exhibition showcases 38 major paintings borrowed from significant museums and private collections around the country.

“It is harder to see than it is to express,” Henri once observed. “The whole value of art rests in the artist’s ability to see well into what is before him.”

CALENDAR OF EXHIBITION RELATED EVENTS

Friday, September 26, 2014
Members and Sponsors Preview Party

7-9 PM
Museum Members, exhibition sponsors, and special guests are invited to join us for the preview party for Spanish Sojourns: Robert Henri and the Spirit of Spain and Robert Henri and Spain, Face to Face. An Exhibition about Connoisseurship, Conservation, and Context. This evening provides the first opportunity to view the works in these two fantastic exhibitions. Spanish themed cocktails and hors d’oeuvres will be served. Support for this event is provided in part by Trustmark. For more information on how to become a Museum member, click here.

Saturday, September 27, 2014
Opening Day of Spanish Sojourns: Robert Henri and the Spirit of Spain and Robert Henri and Spain, Face to Face

10 AM – 5 PM
The Museum invites the community to assist us in welcoming Spanish Sojourns: Robert Henri and the Spirit of Spain and Robert Henri and Spain, Face to Face, the latest presentations in The Annie Laurie Swaim Hearin Memorial Exhibition Series. Support for this event is provided in part by Trustmark.

Thursday, October 16, 2014
A Celebration with Spanish Music and the Mississippi Symphony Orchestra

The Art Garden at the Mississippi Museum of Art
6 PM cash bar; 7:30 PM concert
Join the Mississippi Museum of Art and the Mississippi Symphony Orchestra (MSO) for a Celebration of Spanish Music in The Art Garden in conjunction with the exhibitions Spanish Sojourns: Robert Henri and the Spirit of Spain and Robert Henri and Spain, Face to Face. Celebrate with a program filled with musical passion, featuring compositions in association with Spanish dance, the theatre, and songs long treasured in the traditional Spanish repertoire performed by MSO under the direction of Maestro Crafton Beck. Support for this event is provided in part by Trustmark.

Thursday, November 6, 2014
A Night of Passion with A’lante Flamenco

Mississippi Museum of Art, Trustmark Grand Hall
6 PM cash bar; 7:30 PM concert
Join the Mississippi Museum of Art and A’lante Flamenco for their performance of Flamencura. Flamencura transports audiences into a traditional Spanish flamenco club where performers show off their skills with fire and passion. Presented in conjunction with the exhibitions Spanish Sojourns: Robert Henri and the Spirit of Spain and Robert Henri and Spain, Face to Face. Performed under the direction of Artistic Director/Choreographer Olivia Chacón and Music Director Isaí Chacón, A’lante Flamenco’s work reaches audiences on a visceral level, provoking emotional responses through music and dance that cross cultural and linguistic boundaries. Support for this program is provided by Trustmark.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014
Unburied Treasures: Cover to Cover

Mississippi Museum of Art, Trustmark Grand Hall
5:30 PM cash bar; 6 PM program
This humanities series comprises one-hour programs at the Mississippi Museum of Art in downtown Jackson. This month’s featured artwork is Robert Henri’s Young Woman in Yellow Satin, 1907. oil on canvas. The featured books are The Art Spirit by Robert Henri (Philadelphia: J. P. Lippincott Company, 1923) and Spanish Sojourns: Robert Henri and the Spirit of Spain by Telfair Museum of Art (Author), Robert Henri (Artist), Lisa Nellor Grove (Foreword), M. Elizabeth Boone (Contributor), Valerie Ann Leeds (Contributor), Holly Koons McCullough (Contributor), (Savannah: Telfair Books, 2013). Roger Ward, Ph.D., curator of Robert Henri and Spain: Face to Face speaks about the influence of Spain and of Spanish artists on Robert Henri. Passages from The Art Spirit and from other relevant literature will be read. Ensemble Polonaise performs compositions by Pablo de Sarasate and by Camille Saint-Saëns that provide musical context to Henri’s Spanish paintings. Funding is provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities through the Mississippi Humanities Council. Support for this program is provided in part by Trustmark. Cost: Free to the public

Spanish Sojourns: Robert Henri and the Spirit of Spain is organized by Telfair Museums, Savannah, Georgia. This exhibition is made possible through the generous support of the Mr. and Mrs. Raymond J. Horowitz Foundation for the Arts, Terra Foundation for American Art, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Robert Henri and Spain, Face to Face. An Exhibition about Connoisseurship, Conservation, and Context is organized by the Mississippi Museum of Art, Jackson, Mississippi.

Local presentation of these exhibitions is made possible through the generous support of the Robert M. Hearin Support Foundation. The Mississippi Museum of Art and its programs are sponsored in part by the city of Jackson. Program support for these exhibitions is generously provided by Trustmark. Marketing support is provided by the Jackson Convention & Visitors Bureau. Support is also provided in part by funding from Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi, The Clarion-Ledger Media Group, and the Mississippi Arts Commission, a state agency.

Admission to Spanish Sojourns is $12 adults, $10 seniors (60+), $6 students (6 through college), (includes admission to the 2014 Mississippi Invitational – opening November 1). FREE children 5 and under, FREE Museum members.

The Mississippi Museum of Art’s mission is to “engage Mississippians in the visual arts.” The Museum is located at 380 South Lamar Street in Jackson. Museum hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 10 AM to 5 PM and Sunday, noon to 5 PM. The Museum is closed Monday. For more information about the Mississippi Museum of Art’s exhibitions, programs, and special events, please call 601-960-1515 or 1-866-VIEW ART (843-9278), or visit www.msmuseumart.org.

The Mississippi Museum of Art and its programs are sponsored in part by the city of Jackson and the Jackson Convention & Visitors Bureau. Support is also provided in part by funding from the Mississippi Arts Commission, a state agency, and in part by the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency.

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