Virginia Museum of Fine Arts

Richmond, VA

804 340-1400


French and U.S. Museums Inaugurate French Regional and American Museums Exchange To Facilitate Exchanges Between Participating Museums


The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts has lent seven works from its American collection for a major Franco-American exhibition organized by a new consortium of American and French art museums. The cooperative project, known as the French Regional and American Museums Exchange (FRAME), brings together nine American and nine French museums. (left: House at Dusk, 1935, by Edward Hopper (American, 882-1967) (Photo © 2001 Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.)

"Made in U.S.A.: American Art 1908-1947, Between Nationalism and Internationalism" will be shown in Bordeaux, Rennes and Montpellier, France. It is on view now at the Musée des Beaux-Arts in Bordeaux through Dec. 31, 2001. The exhibition is the first in France to cover the period and includes works of American Impressionism, the Ashcan school, the Dada movement and the Precisionists, among other modernist movements.

"This first collaborative FRAME project provides an opportunity for French citizens to see major early-20th-century American paintings and photographs drawn largely from the collections of the nine American FRAME museums. We are proud to be represented in the exhibition by seven works from our collection, among them several of our most important modern American paintings," says Dr. Michael Brand, director of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. (right: Dr. Michael Brand, Photo © 2000 Mike Curtin)

The works from the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts that will be shown in "Made in U.S.A." are:

The Hopper painting is featured on the exhibition's promotional poster.

The American museums participating in FRAME, in addition to the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, are the Cleveland Museum of Art, the Dallas Museum of Art, the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, the Portland Art Museum, the St. Louis Art Museum, the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, the Sterling & Francine Clark Art Institute of Williamstown [Mass.] and the Yale University Art Gallery. (left: Brideship (Colonial Brides), ca. 1927-28, by Thomas Hart Benton (American, 1889-1975) (Photo by Katherine Wetzel, © 2001 Virginia Museum of Fine Arts)

In France, participating museums are the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Bordeaux; the Musée de Grenoble; the Palais des Beaux-Arts de Lille; the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Lyon; the Musée Fabre, Montpellier; the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Rennes; the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Rouen; the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Strasbourg; and the Musée des Augustins, Toulouse.

The venture was conceived to draw upon the combined resources and expertise of the 18 participating museums to create innovative exhibitions and programs that benefit the geographically widespread American and French localities represented, according to the project's organizers.

The curator for "Made in U.S.A." is Éric de Chassey, an art historian at the University of Tours. The project was the brainchild of Françoise Cachin, director until 1999 of the Musées de France; Elizabeth Rohatyn, a former board chairman of the New York Public Library; and her husband, Felix G. Rohatyn, who was U.S. ambassador to France during the Clinton administration.

Former Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright, at a luncheon hosted by Mayor Juppe in honor of the opening of the American Presence Post in Bordeaux, France, on October 1, 2000 said "...Bordeaux will be the first to host an important exhibit of U.S. paintings. Later, a selection of French art, including some from Bordeaux, will be exhibited in the United States. This is a very exciting initiative and I congratulate Mrs. Elizabeth Rohatyn and Françoise Cachin, Director of the Museums of France, for their vision in launching this."

"FRAME is also planning an exhibition in France next year of sacred American Indian art, as well as a number of future exhibitions at FRAME museums in the United States. Among projects under development is a major exhibition that would be shown at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts around 2003-2004," Brand says. "Other sorts of collaborations are also being discussed," he says.

Following the showing in Bordeaux, "Made in U.S.A." will be on view at the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Rennes from Jan. 18 to March 31, 2002, and at the Musée Fabre, Montpellier, from April 12 to June 23, 2002.

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For further biographical information on selected artists cited above please see America's Distinguished Artists, a national registry of historic artists.

This page was originally published 11/1/01in Resource Library Magazine. Please see Resource Library's Overview section for more information. rev. 6/3/11

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