DULUTH (Aug. 19, 2014) — Director Ken Bloom recently accompanied six works by Jean-François Millet (1814-1875) from the Tweed Museum of Art Collection to Japan for three exhibitions to be put on this year.
The exhibit is titled “Love and Friendship through Millet’s Work” (Amitié et Amour à Travers l’Oeuvre de Millet) and will take place from July to August at the Yamanashi Prefectural Museum of Art in Kofu, from September to October at the Fuchu Art Museum, and in November and December at the Miyagi Museum of Art in Sendai.
Bloom, who traveled with the works, says, “To be part of this collaborative project has been a privilege. The Japanese organizers worked through the Tweed to encourage other American Museums to participate, so we had a hand in the process from its early stages. Joining with French, British, American and Japanese colleagues, to illuminate the artful life of Millet is a rare opportunity. For me, Millet’s passion shown through painting after painting, all together in one space; it was awe inspiring.”
The exhibit commemorates the bicentennial of the birth of Jean-François Millet, a painter from the French Barbizon School. An interest in Millet’s works in Japan dates from the Meiji era of the 1880s, when reproductions of his work and a translation of his biography became available in that country. Millet’s work has been included in public and private collections and put on exhibit there since the 1970s.
Some 50 oil paintings and another thirty drawings and prints have been selected from the range of his career, including family portraits, genre scenes and landscapes from Cherbourg, Paris and Barbizon. Millet was one of the first of his time to portray the lives of peasants in their natural setting. The village of Barbizon was the location for a new school of landscape painting, but Millet also drew from his childhood on the Normandy coast.
The works on loan from the Tweed include The Diggers (ca. 1855-56), The Midday Meal (formerly The Wine Carrier, ca. 1843-45), Young Mother Preparing a Meal (formerly Preparing the Meal, ca. 1847-49), The Milkmaid (begun 1854, unfinished), The Disappointed Hunter (ca. 1841) and The Farmyard (after Farmyard by Moonlight, ca. 1870-1900).
Along with the Tweed Museum of Art, other contributors of Millet’s work to the exhibit include the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City; the Saint Louis Art Museum; the Musée d’art moderne André Malraux, Le Havre; the Musée du Monastère royal de Brou, Bourg-en-Bresse; the Musées de Cherbourg-Octeville; the Musée d’art Thomas Henry, Cherbourg-Octeville; the Palais des Beaux-Arts de Lille; the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Reims; and the Amgueddfa Cymru-National Museum of Wales, Cardiff.
The Tweed Museum of Art is located on the campus of the University of Minnesota, at 1201 Ordean Court, Duluth, MN 55812. It is a collecting art museum that holds in trust a historical and contemporary art collection of over 9,000 artworks on behalf of the University of Minnesota and the people of Duluth and the outlying regions.
Hours and directions can be found at www.d.umn.edu/tma or by calling 218-726-8222.