Exhibition

Degas and the Nude

October 9, 2011–February 5, 2012
Ann and Graham Gund Gallery (Gallery LG31)
“Deeply absorbing, illuminating, very dramatic” —The New Yorker

The nude figure was critical to the art of Edgar Degas from the beginning of his career in the 1850s until the end of his working life, but the subject has never before been explored in a Museum exhibition. “Degas and the Nude,” co-organized by the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and the Musée d’Orsay in Paris, features paintings, pastels, drawings, prints, and sculpture, and calls attention to the evolution of the treatment of the nude from Degas’s early years, through his triumphant offerings from the 1880s and 1890s, to the last decades of his working career.

More than three years in the making, "Degas and the Nude" was conceived by George T. M. Shackelford, chair, Art of Europe and Arthur K. Solomon Curator of Modern Art at the MFA, who co-organized the exhibition with Xavier Rey, Curator of Paintings, Musée d’Orsay. "Our project explores how Degas exploited all of the body's expressive possibilities," says Shackelford. "It shows how his personal vision of the nude informed his notion of modernity, and how he abandoned the classical or historical form in favor of a figure seen in her own time and setting, whether engaged in shockingly carnal acts or just stepping out of an ordinary bath."

In the News

10/21/11 The New York Times "An Unblushing Career of Undressing Women" by Karen Rosenberg
10/17/11 The New Yorker "Bare Naked Ladies" by Peter Schjeldahl
10/5/11 The Boston Globe "Revealing All" by Sebastian Smee
10/1/11 The Wall Street Journal "Degas without the Tutus" by Rachel Wolff

Sponsors

The exhibition is organized by the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and the Musée d'Orsay, Paris.
The exhibition is organized by the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and the Musée du Louvre and is supported by an indemnity from the Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities.