Monet at Giverny featured a selection of paintings from the renowned Marmottan Museum in Paris, which owns the world's largest collection of works by Impressionist painter Claude Monet (1840-1926). The exhibition included 22 paintings that Monet created between 1903 and 1926 while living at Giverny, not far from Paris. He was inspired by the magnificent pond dotted with water lilies and spanned by a Japanese bridge, as well as his home, the flowers in his garden, and its rose-trellised path. In 1908, Monet confided to a friend that, "these landscapes of water and reflections have become an obsession." The painter explored the variations of color and the effects of light on his water-lily pond and flower garden at different seasons of the year and hours of the day. In the process, he produced incredibly modern color effects that heralded the advent of Abstract Expressionism.
This cultural milestone coincided with the completion of major renovations of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, a 1 1/2 year project that prepared the museum for the new millennium. The exhibition, which was co-organized by the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, and the Phoenix Art Museum, was presented at multiple museums during 1999.
An 87-page, illustrated catalogue, published by the New Orleans Museum of Art and the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, accompanied the exhibition. An Acoustiguide Audio Tour and a complimentary Young People's Guide were also available.
Many public programs accompanied this exhibition. On June 2, University of Massachusetts Professor of Art Dr. Paul Tucker gave a lecture entitled “Meaning in Late Monet.” Dr. Tucker, a renowned Monet scholar, emphasized how these paintings extend the notion of what constitutes modern art and how an aging painter can leave a legacy of significance to a world that seemed to pass him by. On June 9, a concert performed by violinist/conductor Marylouise Nanna and members of the Ars Nova Musicians was held to highlight the “Music of Monet.” The concert featured pieces by Charles Camille, Saint-Saëns, Ernest Chausson, Gabriel Fauré, Cécile Louise Stéphanie Chaminade, and Claude Debussy.
This exhibition was co-organized by the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, and the Phoenix Art Museum.