In 1883 Claude Monet and his family rented a house with a barn that doubled as a painting studio in Giverny. Years later, the garden's green bridge, waterlilies and irises have become engrained in our consciousness and our dreams. The New York Botanical Garden presents a tribute to the impressionist master and the foliage that inspired him with the upcoming multifaceted exhibition "Monet's Garden."
'Monet's Garden' will feature stunning recreations of the legendary Giverny gardens, including waterlilies that have been procured from the same source Monet used during his time painting them. The New York Botanical Garden greenhouse will present the gardens not all at once but as they evolve throughout the seasons. The garden will morph from irises and foxgloves in the summer to chrysanthemums and salvias in the fall.
Yet the gardens are far from the only Monet related beauty on display. The exhibition will also feature two original Monet paintings, one of which has never before been seen in the US. We will also be able to see rare Monet artifacts including rare photos and his paint-stained palette.
Finally, contemporary photographer Elizabeth Murray will present Monet's garden as it exists today. The classic photos are a different breed from the recent Giverny exhibition at The Hole, in which glam-rocker Kembra Pfahler dons sexy Frankenstein body paint and shook up the classic scenery. If you are feeling inspired, you are invited to download the Garden's iPhone app and create your own Impressionist photos using the Impressionist lens.
In an era when shock-art and the avant garde rule the art world, we wonder how Monet's classical impressionist paintings will resonate with contemporary viewers. In his time Monet was dismissed by intellectuals for the accessibility of his images, and even today has been compared to recently deceased kitsch-master Thomas Kinkade. Yet there is a haunting life force that buzzes throughout Monet's landscapes that you just can't see when you encounter the irises via coffee mug or tote bag. You must approach a life-size Monet to see the way his weightless strokes of color melt easily into the light. As Jonathan Jones explained in the Guardian, "their nostalgia, elusiveness and delicacy speak to irrational parts of the mind. The reason his paintings give immediate pleasure is not that they are cheap entertainments but because they bypass the prosaic parts of our consciousness and reach us deep down."
From the archival treasures to accurate foliage we doubt New York will ever feel so much like 19th century Giverny. Catch the show from May 19th to October 21 at The New York Botanical Garden.
Do you think Monet lives up to the hype? What is your impression of Monet?
Water lilies on display during Monet's Garden in the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory of The New York Botanical Garden. Photo by Mark Pfeffer. Monet's Garden at The New York Botanical Garden is a seasonally changing exhibition of diverse plants, bold colors, and dramatic design inspired by Claude Monet's idyllic gardens in Giverny, France. As part of the multifaceted Garden-wide exhibition from May 19 through October 21, 2012, during the summer months, in the Conservatory Courtyard's Hardy Pool, the Garden's collection of water lilies will offer visitors the perfect opportunity to see firsthand the plants that Monet collected for his water garden and painted in his famous Nymphéas series,
Claude Monet, "The Artist's Garden in Giverny," Yale University Art Gallery, Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon, B.A. 1929 Two paintings by Claude monet will be on display in The New york Botanical Garden's Rondina Gallery. Both are about the same size, approximately 44 inches by 45 inches, and both date from the early 20th century. The Artist's Garden in Giverny, painted in about 1900 and on loan from the Yale University Art Gallery, shows a large sweep of deep purple and violet irises, with a garden path leading off into the distance.
Claude Monet, Irises. Private Collection. Switzerland Irises, which Monet is believed to have painted in about 1915 and comes from a private collection in Switzerland, portrays a group of one of spring's favorite flowers from a much closer vantage point. Irises has never been shown in the United States, but visitors will have a chance to see it at The New York Botanical Garden during the exhibition Monet's Garden.
Monet's palette (wood) by French School (19th century). Musee Marmottan Monet, Paris, France/ Giraudon/ The Bridgeman Art Library Accompanying Monet's two paintings in the Rondina Gallery of The New York Botanical Garden will be a large wooden palette that Monet used to create his timeless masterpieces. The palette, on loan from the Musée Marmottan Monet in Paris, measures 24 inches by 17 inches and bears the vividly colorful splotches and smears of paint left by Monet, suggestive of the painterly freedom of an Impressionist canvas.
Claude Monet in front of his house at Giverny. 1921. Photo: Patrice Schmidt. Réunion des Musées Nationaux / Art Resource, NY Historical photographs will document Monet's decades-long devotion to his garden.
Claude Monet (1840-1926) in front of his paintings 'The Waterlilies', in his studio at Giverny. 1920 (gelatin silver print) (b/w photo) by Henri Manuel (1874-1947) Musee Marmottan Monet, Paris, France/ Giraudon/ The Bridgeman Art Library The Rondina Gallery component of Monet's Garden will document Claude Monet's life with charming photographs of the artist
Claude Monet (1840-1926) in his Garden at Giverny (b&w photo) Private Collection/ Roger-Viollet, Paris/ The Bridgeman Art Library Photographs, correspondence, and receipts, on display testify to the considerable time and money that Monet spent to create first a dazzling flower garden in front of his house and then, after he acquired an adjacent property, the exotic water garden where he planted the water lilies that featured so prominently in his later work.
"Flowering Mirror," Seasons of Giverny, photograph by Elizabeth Murray An exhibit of photographs by Elizabeth Murray in The New York Botanical Garden's Ross Gallery, adds another element to visitors' experience of Monet's Garden.
"Golden View of Monet's Pond," Seasons of Giverny, photograph by Elizabeth Murray After enjoying the natural elegance of Claude Monet's garden re-created in the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory and viewing his paintings and palette in the Rondina Gallery of the LuEsther T. Mertz Library, visitors can take pleasure in the captivating photographs by Elizabeth Murray of the artist's garden on display.
"Under the Veil of Willow," Seasons of Giverny, photograph by Elizabeth Murray Featuring images photographed by Elizabeth Murray, an artist and gardener who has documented Monet's garden for 25 years, the Ross Gallery component of the Monet's Garden exhibition at The New York Botanical Garden captures the year-round beauty of Monet's garden in Giverny, France, as it appears today.