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Touch of Paris Toledo museum opens Tuileries Garden exhibit PDF Print E-mail
Written by DAVID DUPONT, Sentinel Staff Writer   
Friday, 14 February 2014 09:40
Bosio Hercules Battling Achelus
Admitted it, just about now Paris in blossom sounds pretty good.
As Northwest Ohio muddles through a particularly harsh winter, the Toledo Museum of Art is providing a taste of just that.
The Art of the Louvre's Tuileries Garden, which includes over 100 objects most from the Louvre in Paris, opened Thursday at the museum and will continue through May 11, when we can hope it will actually be spring here.
Bringing the show to Toledo required some heavy lifting. That included a number of marble and one massive bronze sculpture of Hercules.
These have been deployed to stunning effect in the museum's Canaday Gallery. Entering the first gallery the visitor can well imagine being on a path in the garden, with massive figures lining the way.
The layout a collaboration by the museum Claude Fixler and the curator Richard Putney, of the University of Toledo, is striking.
Museum Director Brian Kennedy explained that the goal was to give the sense of being in one small section of the 64-acre garden.
The garden was originally part of the grounds for a palace built in 1564. The grounds were later redesigned by the landscape architect Andre Le Notre at the behest of Louis the XIV, known as "The Sun King,"
When the king's court moved to Versailles, the grounds of Tuileries opened up to the public. Kennedy said the Tuileries attract 10 million visitors a day.
The palace was set ablaze during the revolution of 1871, and then razed in 1893.
The exhibit captures both the present beauty of the garden as well as its history.
The front section includes a large image of the palace, right across from a film tracing a summer's day at the garden.
Another gallery features Impressionistic paintings by Camille Pissarro, Childe Hassam and others. Another is devoted to photos of the Tuileries, a celebration both of the park and the emerging art and technology of photography.
Another is devoted to images of the garden through history, including those of the devastated facade after the palace was burned.
The exhibit was the brainchild of Kennedy and Michael Shapiro director of the High museum of Art in Atlanta. They were discussing possible projects, when Shapiro mentioned the museum's ties with the Louvre. For its part the Louvre was celebrating the 100th anniversary of Le Notre's birth, and was interested in having some component of that commemoration in the United States.
About two years ago Kennedy brought Putney into the process.
Kennedy praised French museum officials for allowing so much art to travel so far. Most of the pieces are from the  Louvre's collection, and virtually all, save a few Impressionistic paintings from domestic museums, are from France.
The show is the most recent in a series of major exhibitions. It comes on the heels of a Édouard Manet exhibit that was shown only in Toledo and London and most recently an exhibit of 20th century Japanese prints. Next summer there will be a show of the art of video games.
That's the range, Kennedy said, the museum strives to deliver to museum audiences.
It's no walk in the park to stage such shows, including support from the business The Andersons, Brooks Insurance and Taylor Cadillac.
From Toledo the show will ravel to Portland (Oregon) Art Museum before the objects return to their French homes.
Last Updated on Friday, 14 February 2014 14:53

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