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Open today: 10:00 to 5:00

America Collects Eighteenth-Century French Painting
May 21 – August 20, 2017
West Building, Main Floor

Joseph Ducreux, Le Discret, c. 1791, oil on aluminum, transferred from canvas, Spencer Museum of Art

As the founding fathers were drawing from French Enlightenment philosophy, early American collectors were developing a taste for 18th-century French painting. Since then, Americans have enthusiastically collected French painting from this period. Today, splendid works by artists such as François Boucher, Joseph Ducreux, and Jean-Honoré Fragonard are in public collections across the country—from major metropolises to Omaha, Muncie, and Jacksonville. For the first time, America Collects Eighteenth-Century French Painting will bring together nearly 70 of these paintings, well-known masterpieces and hidden gems alike, into an exhibition that tells the story of the collectors, curators, museum directors, and dealers responsible for developing an American appetite for the French rococo and neoclassical styles. A fully illustrated catalog on the development of this history of taste will accompany the exhibition. 

Organization: The exhibition is organized by the National Gallery of Art, Washington

Passes: Admission is always free and passes are not required

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