Bouguereau and America

Edited by Tanya Paul and Stanton Thomas; With texts by Tanya Paul, Stanton Thomas, Eric Zafran, Martha Hoppin, Abigail Solomon-Godeau, and Catherine Sawinski

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An in-depth exploration into the immense popularity of William-Adolphe Bouguereau’s work in America throughout the late 19th and early 20th centuries

Seeking to bring Gallic sophistication and worldly elegance into their galleries and drawing rooms, wealthy Americans of the late 19th and early 20th centuries collected the work of William-Adolphe Bouguereau (1825–1905) in record numbers. This fascinating volume offers an in-depth exploration of Bouguereau’s overwhelming popularity in turn-of-the-century America and the ways that his work—widely known from reviews, exhibitions, and inexpensive reproductions—resonated with the American public. While also lauded by the French artistic establishment and a dominant presence at the Parisian Salons, Bouguereau achieved his greatest success selling his idealized and polished paintings to a voracious American market. In this book, the authors discuss how the artist’s sensual classical maidens, Raphaelesque Madonnas, and pristine peasant children embodied the tastes of American Gilded Age patrons, and how Bouguereau’s canvases persuasively functioned as freshly painted Old Masters for collectors flush with new money.

Tanya Paul is Isabel and Alfred Bader Curator at the Milwaukee Art Museum. Stanton Thomas is curator of collections and exhibitions at the Museum of Fine Arts, Saint Petersburg, Florida.

EXHIBITION SCHEDULE

Milwaukee Art Museum
(02/15/19–05/12/19)


Memphis Brooks Museum of Art
(06/22/19–09/22/19)


San Diego Museum of Art
(11/09/19–03/15/20)

ISBN: 9780300241358
Publication Date: March 12, 2019
Co-publisher: Published in association with the Milwaukee Art Museum and the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art
192 pages, 10 x 12
114 color illus.
Surrealism and Modernism

From the Collection of the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art

Eric Zafran and Paul Paret

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