Caillebotte/Durand-Ruel: Making Impressionism
Mary Morton, curator and head, department of French paintings, National Gallery of Art; Joseph J. Rishel, The Gisela and Dennis Alter Senior Curator of European Painting before 1900 and Senior Curator of the John G. Johnson Collection, Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Rodin Museum; Jennifer A. Thompson, The Gloria and Jack Drosdick Associate Curator of European Painting and Sculpture before 1900, Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Rodin Museum. Two concurrent impressionist exhibitions, Discovering the Impressionists: Paul Durand-Ruel and the New Painting (Philadelphia Museum of Art, June 24-September 13, 2015) and Gustave Caillebotte: The Painter’s Eye (National Gallery of Art, June 28-October 4, 2015), raise a provocative art-historical issue: what role do dealers and the art market play in formulating artistic values. The hard-won success of impressionist painters depended on the support and encouragement of Paul Durand-Ruel in the 1870s and 1880s. His efforts established a core group identified with the movement, which would become a canon in 20th-century art-historical accounts. Although Caillebotte was one of the leaders of the impressionist movement, he was left out of this canon until recently. In this panel discussion recorded on September 10, 2015, at the National Gallery of Art, exhibition curators Mary Morton, Joseph J. Rishel, and Jennifer A. Thompson explore this omission and the factors that contributed to it.