Carol Ehlers, Art History Speaker Print
News Releases - Art, Galleries & Museums
Written by Lynn Bartenhagen   
Friday, 22 March 2013 14:44

The public is invited to join the Muscatine Art Center in welcoming Carol Ehlers, art history speaker, as she presents a 45 minute lecture on Edgar Degas’s influence on Pablo Picasso. The lecture will take place Thursday, March 28 at 5:30 pm in the Muscatine Art Center’s Music Room. Admission is free.

When Pablo Picasso moved to the Montmartre district in Paris in 1904, he lived and worked in the same neighborhood as Edgar Degas. The pair had several friends in common, used the same models and shared Ambrose Vollard as their art dealer, but it is unlikely that the two ever met. Degas was from an earlier era (he was 47 years older than Picasso) and was classically educated and from a well-off family, but was famously aloof. Picasso on the other hand was struggling, impoverished and frequented the brothels, cafes and nightclubs so commonly seen in both of their works.

Despite their differences in age, temperament and background, Picasso had an enduring fascination with Degas. Throughout his long career, Picasso would produce works of art in response to what his artistic predecessors created, often “quoting” their compositions. Picasso is said to have observed that "good artists copy; great artists steal." Thus was his relationship with Degas. Picasso’s early compositions were wrought with scenes of cabarets and cafes, portraits, women bathing, and ballet dancers; the same subjects that had come to define Degas’s iconic works.

Pablo Picasso Looks at Edgar Degas explores Picasso's lifelong fascination with Degas's art and personality, while also shedding light on the development of twentieth-century modernism.

In 1992 the Muscatine Art Center’s collections were significantly enriched by a gift of twenty-seven works of art from the estate of Mary Musser Gilmore in honor of her parents, Richard Drew Musser and Sarah Walker Musser. Represented in this collection are works by Toulouse-Lautrec, Matisse, Degas, Boudin, Chagall, Renoir, and other European artists. These pieces are on permanent display in the Laura Musser Mansion.

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