APRIL 22, 2013

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 the art of French Neo-Impressionist Paul Signac. The lecture will take place Thursday, April 25 at 5:30 pm in the Muscatine Art Center's Music Room. Admission is free.

Paul Signac was born in Paris on November 11, 1863 to a well to do family and grew up in the cultural district of Montmartre. By the age of 18, Signac studied architecture before deciding to pursue a career as a painter after attending an exhibit of Claude Monet's work. He chose to be an Impressionist painter because of his liking for Monet, the outdoors, originality, and independence.  He had no formal art instruction but devoted himself to the study of the works of Manet, Monet, Degas, and Caillebotte.

In 1884 Signac met Georges Seurat at the first Société des Artistes Indépendants and was struck by Seurat's meticulous methods. By 1885, under Seurat's influence, he abandoned the short brushstrokes of impressionism to experiment with scientifically juxtaposed small dots of pure color based on the laws of color theory established by the chemist Eugène Chevreul. These dots were intended to combine and in the viewer's eye, the defining feature of pointillism, a branch of Neo-Impressionism that Seurat and Signac successfully coined.

By 1892, he moved from Paris to St Tropez, and he was painting almost entirely in his studio from sketches and watercolors originally made in front of the scenes he found in the course of his travels. As an avid sailor, he went on a number of cruises, which took him to various ports in France, Italy, Holland and Constantinople.

Signac was president of the Société des Artistes Indépendants from 1908 until his death at age seventy-two in 1935. He encouraged the next generation of young artists by exhibiting their controversial works. He inspired Henri Matisse and André Derain in particular, thus playing a decisive role in the evolution of the Fauvist movement.

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



Lecture: Paul Signac: Scientific Theory and Pointillism

Who: Carol Ehlers

When: Thursday, April 25 2013

Time: 5:30 PM

Where: The Muscatine Art Center's Music Room

Admission to this program is FREE.


Please contact Katy Doherty, Program Coordinator, with any questions or concerns at

563-263-8282 or by email at kdoherty@muscatineiowa.gov.


The Muscatine Art Center is open to the public Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday from 10 AM to 5 PM, Thursday from 10 AM to 7 PM and Saturday and Sunday from 1 to 5 PM Admission is FREE.

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