Rare Old World Masters at Tennessee State Museum, Nashville10.16.2005
NASHVILLE — The Tennessee State Museum in Nashville is the only museum in the Southeast and the last in the United States to present the RAU COLLECTION: Six Centuries with the European Masters,an exhibition of paintings from the renowned collection of Dr. Gustav Rau.
Showcased are 95 rarely seen masterpieces by El Greco, Gainsborough, Cezanne, Pissarro, Monet, Renoir, Degas, Cassatt and many others. Half of the works on display are Old Master paintings from the 15th to the early 19th centuries, and the other half represents Impressionist, Post-Impressionist and early modern art from the mid-19th to mid-20th centuries.
Among the highlights of the exhibition are:
? Six paintings by Claude Monet, including "The Wooden Bridge"
? Fra Angelico's "Saint Nicholas of Bari" and "Saint Michael"
? Paul Cezanne's "The Sea at L'Estaque"
? Auguste Renoir's "Woman with a Rose"
? Canaletto's "Saint Mark's Square" and
? El Greco's "Saint Dominic in Prayer"
The exhibit, which opened August 28, will run through January 15, 2006. The initial public exhibition of the collection, at the Musee de Luxembourg in Paris, drew a record attendance of 300,000 and was declared by the French media to be the best art exhibition of the year 2001.
"The Rau Collection is a virtual stroll through six centuries of art history," said Lois Riggins-Ezzell, executive director of the Tennessee State Museum. As the only museum in the Southeast and the last in the United States to present this exhibition, we are providing the people of our area a rare opportunity to experience magnificent work by some of the world 's greatest artists."
Riggins-Ezzell said, "This is truly an all-star lineup of the European masters from several countries, representing the beginnings of European painting in the early Renaissance up to the mid-20th century, including French Impressionist and Post-Impressionist periods. It is a great honor for the Tennessee State Museum to be among the small, select group of museums to showcase this amazing array of art and to allow our visitors to see the entire spectrum of European art in one location."
The 95 paintings represent a selection of works of art acquired by Dr.Gustav Rau (1922-2002). Dr. Rau was a German doctor and philanthropist, who amassed his exceptional collection from the 1960s to the mid-1980s. Right before his death in 2001, Dr. Rau willed his entire collection to UNICEF of Germany with the stipulation that it eventually be sold to raise funds for third world philanthropy.
For more information on The Rau Collection: Six Centuries with the European Masters, call the Tennessee State Museum at 615-741-2692 or toll-free 1-800-407-4324. The museum is located in downtown Nashville at Fifth and Deaderick Streets in the James K. Polk Center.
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