Prof is Uniquely Qualified for Talks on Impressionism

Former Curator at Art Institute of Chicago to Discuss Collection Visiting Kimbell

Sept. 16, 2008

Art enthusiasts are invited to experience the history of the Impressionist collection visiting the Kimbell Art Museum from UT Dallas chaired professor Richard Brettell, the man who helped build it.

Richard Brettell
Dr. Richard Brettell

In honor of The Impressionists: Master Paintings from the Art Institute of Chicago, an exhibit currently at the Kimbell in Fort Worth, Dr. Brettell will give two public lectures on private collectors of French avant-garde painting.

The presentations will be at 7:30 p.m., Oct. 7 and 14, in the Davidson Auditorium at the UT Dallas School of Management.

The Art Institute’s Impressionist collection, which has never before left Chicago in such a large group, is on display at the Kimbell through Nov. 2.

The lectures will focus on renowned Chicago collectors Bertha Palmer, Frederick Clay Bartlett and Martin Ryerson.

Mrs. Bertha Palmer: A Collector Dealer in Gilded Age America is the first lecture, scheduled to be given Tuesday, Oct. 7. Palmer, who amassed nearly 100 paintings by Monet during her lifetime, collected with an insatiable artistic appetite. American Impressionist artist Mary Cassatt guided her in her selections. The bulk of the Potter Palmer Collection entered the Art Institute in 1922.

Although the second lecture is titled Frederick Clay Bartlett: Post-Impressionism and Modern Art in the 1920’s, it is really about two important art patrons: Bartlett and Martin Ryerson. Bartlett’s private collection was given to The Art Institute of Chicago in 1926 and included major paintings by Cezanne, van Gogh, Seurat, Gauguin, Picasso, Hodler and Matisse. Ryerson’s gift in 1933, however, is said to be the most important in the museum’s history because of the range of important artists and historical periods represented — from Impressionists such as Monet, Cezanne, Redon and Renoir, to Old Master paintings, as well as priceless Chinese ceramics, European sculpture and decorative arts.

“Dr. Brettell’s intimate knowledge of this collection makes this lecture a ‘must-attend’ event for anyone interested in modern art,” said Dennis Kratz, dean of the School of Arts & Humanities. “Attending the lectures and then viewing the collection at the Kimbell gives visitors a whole new level of appreciation for the role of museums and the process of building world class collections.”

Brettell, Margaret McDermott Distinguished Chair of Art and Aesthetics at UT Dallas, was the Searle Curator of European Painting and Sculpture at The Art Institute of Chicago between 1980 and 1988. He not only published the collection extensively, but also added major works to it through acquisition and negotiated gifts as well.

The Kimbell Art Museum’s landmark exhibition showcases the major masterpieces of Impressionism and Post-Impressionist Painting from The Art Institute. This group of paintings and pastels is considered one of the finest in the United States and is second globally only to the collections at the Musée d’Orsay in Paris.

“The fact that the 92 pieces in the collection are touring for the first time makes the exhibition truly remarkable,” said Kratz.

Admission to each lecture is free. The School of Management is located near University Parkway on the UT Dallas campus; parking is available at Lot J near the Visitor’s entrance. For further directions and parking options, visit

Media Contact: Karah Hosek, UT Dallas, 972-883-4329, [email protected]
or the Office of Media Relations, UT Dallas, 972-883-2155, [email protected]

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May 21, 2018