The El Paso Museum of Art is pleased to announce the Solomon R. Guggenheim Masterpiece Series at the El Paso Museum of Art opening October 5, 2014 and closing on October 2, 2016 in the Peter and Margaret de Wetter Gallery. Ten masterpieces by seven artists will be shown in a consecutive series of six presentations organized by the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and Foundation. The series includes: Birth of Cubism featuring two stunning icons by Pablo Picasso and Paul Cézanne; Expressionism and Der Blau Reiter featuring two masterpieces by Vasily Kandinsky and Franz Marc; Orphism and the School of Paris features the genius of Robert Delaunay and Albert Gleizes; the fourth installment is a monumental work by Marc Chagall, The Green Violinist; Kandinsky and the Bauhaus features two masterworks by Vasily Kandinsky; and closing out the series is Pablo Picasso’s epic still life Pitcher and Bowl of Fruit. All works on exhibit are canvases painted between 1879 and 1931 and are universally recognized as classic works by these world-renowned artists.
Richard Armstrong, Director of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and Foundation, said, “The Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation is very pleased to embark on this collaboration with the El Paso Museum of Art. While the Guggenheim welcomes over a million visitors a year to the museum in New York and reaches an increasingly diverse audience of over 6 million visitors through its website, it is particularly gratifying to bring some of the most iconic works in the Guggenheim’s collection to El Paso and the Southwest.”
Mr. Armstrong continued, “I’d like to thank the El Paso Museum of Art Director Michael A. Tomor for this promising collaboration and for the opportunity to share some of the Guggenheim’s most beloved treasures with the people of El Paso and the region.”
The collaboration between the El Paso Museum of Art and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and Foundation addresses the particular interests of the communities served in El Paso. It is of special significance to the El Paso community to be introduced to some of the most noteworthy artworks by European Modernists found in the world's most admired permanent collections. To that end, and in the spirit of educating the public with masterpieces held in great esteem by scholars across the globe, the El Paso Museum of Art has been given this exceptional opportunity to work with the Guggenheim Museum. In turn, the Guggenheim Museum has an opportunity to reach directly beyond its audiences in New York City, Venice, and Bilbao by building a program for a community clearly dedicated to extremely high quality-of-life programs.
Michael Tomor, Director of the El Paso Museum of Art, shared, “The El Paso Museum of Art is honored to collaborate with the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and Foundation to launch its first masterpiece program. Richard Armstrong is to be seen as a shining example of reaching across the profession and the United States to better serve a mission of excellence in art and arts programming in communities more geographically isolated from major metropolitan regions of the eastern seaboard. The citizens of El Paso and Juárez have never had an opportunity to experience in their own community original canvases by Picasso, Kandinsky, Delaunay, Gleizes, or Marc, or to see iconic paintings by Chagall or Cézanne. The Guggenheim has afforded this opportunity to El Paso and we are forever grateful to their staff and board.”
The individual masterpiece installation or exhibition is gaining momentum across the United States and Europe. As exhibition leasing, shipping, and insurance fees continue to increase and the public and the museum profession tire of the sensationalism of the “blockbuster” exhibition, directors and curators are revisiting the mission of education and excellence in programming; the unique or multiple masterpiece exhibition provides an alternative. The El Paso Museum of Art is projecting 24 months of consecutive exhibition programs and 54 unique education programs, not including the creation of new art classes dedicated to the featured artists’ style, iconography, and choice of subject. The Museum is in the midst of discussions with nine performing arts and academic community partners to offer additional programs related to the cultural context out of which these artists emerged.
Other recent examples of the Masterpiece Series include the December 6, 2013 opening of the three-month installation of the New York Frick Collection portrait by Francisco de Goya y Lucientes at the Norton Simon Museum in Pasadena. The Prado at the Meadows was the result of a three-year collaboration between the Prado Museum of Madrid and the Meadows Museum of Southern Methodist University in Dallas to bring El Greco, Ribera, and Velázquez to the Dallas-Fort Worth communities. That series ran from 2011 through 2013. And in May of 2011, the Speed Art Museum in Louisville, Kentucky, exhibited Caravaggio’s The Fortune Teller on loan from the Capitoline Museums in Rome.