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Charles Marville, Hôtel de la Marine, 1864–70, albumen print from collodion wet plate negative, National Gallery of Art, Washington, Diana and Mallory Walker Fund.

Paris: Becoming the City of Light

Sunday, Aug 17, 2014
2 p.m. - 3 p.m.

Law Building, Lower Level
1001 Bissonnet Map & Directions

Presented by Helga K. Aurisch, curator of European art.

The Paris of 1850 did not differ much from the Paris of 1789. But by the last third of the 19th century, the city played a central role in the cultural life of its inhabitants. The physical city, the its grand boulevards and squares, cafes and theaters, gardens and monuments—with the river Seine threading its way through the center—its cosmopolitanism and its electric spirit inspired an extraordinary level of innovation in all of the arts.

In the field of painting, in particular, traditions and conventions two centuries strong were sidestepped in favor of radical new forms of representation. The paintings of that now most beloved of art movements, Impressionism, would have been unthinkable without Paris. Helga K. Aurisch explores the intimate relationship between the transformation Paris’s medieval fabric into the City of Light, and the radical innovations that energized all of the arts in Paris in the late 19th century.

Stay for the reception following the lecture to meet the speaker and view the exhibition Charles Marville: Photographer of Paris.

This event is free with Museum admission. Drop in to participate.

Special thanks to Adept Word Management for transcription services.

All education programs at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, receive endowment income from funds provided by Caroline Wiess Law; The National Endowment for the Humanities; the William Randolph Hearst Foundation; the Fondren Foundation; BMC Software, Inc.; the Wallace Foundation; the Louise Jarrett Moran Bequest; the Neal Myers and Ken Black Children’s Art Fund; the Favrot Fund; and Gifts in honor of Beth Schneider.