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Impressionist Art Exhibition Coming To Te Papa

28 January 2009


Major Monet And Impressionist Art Exhibition Coming To Te Papa

Te Papa, in association with the Art Gallery of New South Wales, presents Monet and the Impressionists ( in the Visa Platinum Gallery, Level 4 from 14 February until 17 May 2009. Te Papa is the only New Zealand venue for this exhibition that opened to critical acclaim in Sydney in October 2008. The exhibition will be opened by the Minister for Culture and Heritage, Hon. Chris Finlayson, at a black tie function on Friday 13 February. Media are welcome to attend.

‘This exhibition is the culmination of three years of negotiation between Te Papa, the Art Gallery of New South Wales and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston,’ said Dr Seddon Bennington, Te Papa’s Chief Executive. ‘Monet and the Impressionists is truly a once-in-a-lifetime event – a rare chance to experience a range of Impressionist masterworks in an intimate setting.’

Organised by the Museum of Fine Arts Boston and the Nagoya/Boston Museum of Fine Arts, Monet and the Impressionists features 56 exquisite works by Impressionism’s most loved practitioner Claude Monet (1840–1926), and his forebears and contemporaries, including Corot, Boudin, Sisley, Pissarro, Renoir, Degas, Manet and Cézanne. The Museum of Fine Arts Boston holds one of the finest collections of Monet works in the world, thanks mostly to the rocky beginnings of the Impressionist movement in France.

‘The Impressionist movement struggled to gain critical acceptance in France in the late nineteenth century, being so different from the popular Realist style accepted at the time, but American art buyers had no such preconceptions and collected on their emotional reaction to the art,’ explained Jonathan Mane-Wheoki, Te Papa’s Art and Collection Services Director.

Visitors to the exhibition will discover the story of the rise of Impression in the 19th century, the artists at the heart of the movement, and the techniques used to create these timeless masterpieces. Highlights include Monet’s luminous Grainstack (sunset) and Waterlilies, Cézanne’s The pond, Renoir’s Woman with a parasol and small child on a sunlit hill, alongside works from Monet’s series of Rouen Cathedral and Charing Cross.

Monet and the Impressionists is proudly bought to New Zealand by major sponsor Accor Hospitality. The hotel group celebrates a 42 year French heritage and has an international network of more than 4000 hotels in nearly 100 countries. They have 28 hotels in New Zealand under 8 brands including Sofitel, MGallery, Grand Mercure, Novotel, Mercure and Ibis.

Accor’s four hotels in Wellington – Novotel Wellington, Mercure Hotel Wellington, Mercure Hotel Willis St and Ibis Hotel Wellington – will be offering exclusive Monet accommodation packages on their website from 30 January.

‘We are proud to support Te Papa in bringing this once-in-a-lifetime event to New Zealand,’ said Accor Vice President for New Zealand and Fiji, Paul Richardson. ‘We have a long history of supporting the arts and believe in making a meaningful contribution to the communities where we live and work.’

The exhibition, which will be presented in the Visa Platinum Gallery, is the first in a three-year partnership between the Museum and Visa Entertainment. This new relationship will see world-class experiences, such as the Monet exhibition, brought to our shores for New Zealanders and overseas visitors to enjoy.

Visa cardholders in New Zealand are eligible for free membership to Visa Entertainment (, a cardholder benefit programme providing access to special entertainment offers. Te Papa and Visa Entertainment will work together, creating unique opportunities to experience the best of New Zealand’s and the world’s art, culture and heritage.

The Monet and the Impressionists exhibition is accompanied by a comprehensive full-colour catalogue featuring essays by leading Monet scholars, and edited by George T M Shackleford of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. There is also an Acoustiguide ($5) to add to the experience. The guide includes tracks specially designed to introduce children to the world of the Impressionists. To complement the exhibition, from 19 February a selection of 19th century French prints from Te Papa’s collection are displayed in the Ilott Room (free admission), and a series of related events has been scheduled, including a Monet symposium on 21 March (full details follow the media release).

Monet and the Impressionists is indemnified by the New Zealand Government.

Monet and the Impressionists
14 February – 17 May 2009
Visa Platinum Gallery, Level 4
Te Papa

Adults: $15, Children (5-15 years old): $4.50, Concession: $13.50
Family group prices available



Lunchtime floortalks
Every second Wednesday: 12.15–1pm
18 February
4, 18 March
1, 15, 29 April
13 May
Held in the exhibition, these are talks by experts, including from Te Papa, Jonathan Mane-Wheoki, Director Art and Collection Services, and Victoria Robson, curator European Art.
Visa Platinum Gallery, Level 4. Free with exhibition entry.

Art After Dark – A toast to Monet, 19 March

5pm–5.30pm 19th century French prints from Te Papa’s collection with
Victoria Robson, curator European Art, Te Papa
Ilott Room, Level 4. Free entry.

5.40pm–6.10pm Monet and the Impressionists with Jonathan Mane-Wheoki, Director Art and Collection Services, Te Papa
Visa Platinum Gallery, Level 4. Free with exhibition entry.

6.30pm–7.20pm ‘Do we really need another book on Monet, darling?’
A panel discussion chaired by Jonathan Mane-Wheoki with a group of noted Monet and Impressionist scholars
The Marae, Level 4. Free entry.

7.30pm–8.40pm Music by Sans Souci
Espresso, Level 4. Free entry.

Art After Dark – Impressionism: colonial lights & shadow, 16 April

5pm–5.30pm In the shadow of Paris: artists responding to French modernism
Floortalk with Jonathan Mane-Wheoki, Director Art and Collection Services, Te Papa
Toi Te Papa, Level 5. Free entry

5.45pm–6.15pm "Execrable in its nightmare of blues and greens" – New Zealand Impressionism under fire
Guest speaker: Jane Vial, Consultant Curator of Art & Heritage Services
Soundings Theatre, Level 2. Free entry

6.20pm–7pm New Zealand Artists: in France the lure of Brittany
Guest speaker: Julie King, Art Historian
Soundings Theatre, Level 2. Free entry
7.05pm–7.35pm Katherine Mansfield: a colonial Impressionist
Guest speaker: Melissa Reimer, PhD candidate, University of Canterbury
Soundings Theatre, Level 2. Free entry

7.45pm–8.30pm In concert with Diedre Irons & Michael Houston
Soundings Theatre, Level 2. Free entry

Thursday evening events
(See below for dates)

5.30pm–6.15pm Floortalk in the exhibition
6.30pm–7.15pm Guest speaker on The Marae

26 Feb Floortalk with Jonathan Mane-Wheoki, Director Art and Collection Services, Te Papa
Monet’s Garden – a gardener’s view of Giverny with guest speaker Maggie Barry

12 March Floortalk with David Maskill, Senior Lecturer Art History, Victoria University of Wellington
Turner, Constable, Monet – English paths to French Impressionism with guest speaker Jonathan Mane-Wheoki, Director Art and Collection Services

26 March Floortalk with David Maskill, Senior Lecturer Art History, Victoria University of Wellington
Monet in the Salons – Proust, Polignac and other Dragons with
guest speaker, theatre director Elric Hooper

9 April Floortalk with Jonathan Mane-Wheoki, Director Art and Collection Services, Te Papa
Japanese art, Impressionism, and the art of the West with guest speaker, Dr Richard Bullen, School of Fine Arts University of Canterbury

23 April Floortalk with Victoria Robson, curator European Art, Te Papa
Cherchez la femme: the female Impressionists with guest speaker, Dr Pamela Gerrish Nunn, School of Fine Arts University of Canterbury

30 April Floortalk with Jonathan Mane-Wheoki, Director Art and Collection Services, Te Papa
Musical Impressions with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra

14 May Floortalk with Victoria Robson, curator European Art, Te Papa
Living and Writing in France - panel discussion with four NZ Post Mansfield Prize winners. Hosted by Maggie Barry, gardening enthusiast and Chair of New Zealand Book Council


21 March Monet symposium (full details on next page)

Monet Symposium

Image & context: reflections on Monet and Impressionism

Saturday 21 March 2009

Join noted Monet and Impressionist scholars for a day of talks on Monet, his contemporaries and their artistic practice. This symposium is held in conjunction with the exhibition Monet and the Impressionists.

8.15am Registration
Soundings Foyer, Level 2

8.30am–9.30am Exhibition open for early viewing
Visa Platinum Gallery, Level 4

9.30am Tea & coffee
Icon, Level 2

10am–12noon Symposium
Soundings Theatre, Level 2

12noon–1pm Lunch
Oceania, Level 3

1pm–3pm Symposium
Soundings Theatre, Level 2

3pm–6pm Participants are invited to view the exhibition after the symposium

The Monet symposium will be chaired by Jonathan Mane-Wheoki, Director Art and Collection Services, Te Papa. Papers will be presented by the following scholars:

Monet and the weather Dr Emilie Sitzia, University of Canterbury
Claude Monet and the painted garden c.1866–1875 Julie King, Art Historian
Monet & water Terence Maloon, Art Gallery New South Wales, Sydney
Figures in the landscape: Cézanne's The pond Emeritus Professor Virginia Spate, University of Sydney
Was there an Impressionist sculpture? Associate Professor Mark Stocker, University of Otago
Impressionist prints: experiment and innovation Victoria Robson, curator European Art, Te Papa

Registrations are essential. To book, please contact Theresa Curtis-Smith on 04 381 7495,

$80.00 registration, $60 student/beneficiary concession, $50 Friends of Te Papa.

Terence Maloon is senior curator of special exhibitions for the Art Gallery of NSW. His recent exhibitions for the Gallery include Camille Pissarro (2006), Picasso: the last decades (2002), Drawing the figure – Michelangelo to Matisse (co-curated with Peter Raissis, 1999), and Classic Cézanne (1998).
Formerly Power Professor and Chair of the Department of Art History at the University of Sydney, Virginia Spate is a world-renowned Monet scholar. Among her many books and articles on 19th and 20th century painting, she has published Claude Monet; the colour of time (1992), Orphism: the evolution of non-figurative painting in Paris, 1910-1914 (1979), and monographs on Tom Roberts (1972) and John Olsen (1963). She was the curator of the exhibition Monet & Japan at the NGA, Canberra (2001). Her current research is on the subject of Cézanne.
Julie King is an independent Art Historian, and former Senior Lecturer in Art History at the University of Canterbury. She came to New Zealand after completing postgraduate studies in nineteenth century French Art at the University of Manchester, and working for the Open University in England. She has researched and written on many aspects of New Zealand Art, and curated national touring shows of work by Sydney Lough Thompson (1990), and Margaret Stoddart (1997–1998).
Dr Emilie Sitzia was educated in France, Germany, and Finland. She left Europe for Aotearoa New Zealand in 2004, when she joined the University of Canterbury, where she lectures on European art with an emphasis on nineteenth century French art. Her research includes a range of interdisciplinary topics linking literature and art in nineteenth century France.

Mark Stocker is an Associate Professor of Art History in the Department of History and Art History, University of Otago, where he has been since 2003. He has published widely in the areas of 19th and early 20th century sculpture and numismatics, and is a contributor, as well as editorial consultant, to the forthcoming Te Papa Press publication, Art at Te Papa.


Victoria Robson is curator of European art at Te Papa, with a particular interest in European prints and 20th century British art.

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