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Dealers, Collectors, and Museums: Early Modernist Artists in Paris—taught by Brigid Barton
In this course we will focus on the role of dealers, collectors, and museums in developing the reputations of major figures in Early Modernism in Paris. We will begin by examining the idea of the modern museum and the histories of several Parisian museums which house major collections of modern art, including the Musée d'Orsay. We will then turn our attention to the collections at these museums and the ways in which dealers, collectors, family and friends of artists helped to make these collections at these museums and the ways in which dealers, collectors, family and friends of artists helped to make these collections so rich today. Dealers such as Vollard, Kahnweiler, and Durand-Ruel, collectors such as the Steins, Barnes, and the Havemeyers, and family and friends were central in creating the collections in these museums which we so enjoy today. The reputations of Cézanne, Van Gogh, Gauguin, Toulouse-Lautrec and many other important Modernists hung on the actions of these private parties. This is an important part of Modernist art history which is often overlooked and yet which provides fascinating insights into the making of the art historical canon.