ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) – An exhibition making its debut at the University of Michigan Museum of Art explores the relationship between photography and painting along the Normandy coast in mid-19th-century France.
It’s titled The Lens of Impressionism: Photography and Painting Along the Normandy Coast, 1850-1874. It runs Saturday to Jan. 3 in Ann Arbor before traveling to the Dallas Museum of Art from Feb. 21 to May 23.
“There has been a long discussion about how much influence that photography had on avant-garde painting, what became Impressionism,” said Carole McNamara, the Michigan museum’s senior curator of Western art. “Painters looked at photos, collected photos. Photographers were aware of painters.”
The exhibition includes the work of painters Gustave Courbet, Edouard Manet, Claude Monet and Edgar Degas as well as photographers Gustave Le Gray and Henri Le Secq.
Archival materials related to tourism in the region also are a part of the exhibit. The photos, drawings and paintings on display include representations of beach scenes, seascapes, fishing villages and resorts.
“Photographers and painters were both using this imagery and capitalizing on the new industry of tourism,” said McNamara, who organized the exhibition.
Some works are on loan from the Musee d’Orsay in Paris and the Bibliotheque Nationale de France, or the National Library of France.
Lectures and musical performances are planned this fall in Ann Arbor as part of the exhibition.
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