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The Louvre and the Masterpiece

Johannes Vermeer (Dutch, 1632–1675), The Astronomer, 1668, oil on canvas, Musée du Louvre, Department of Paintings, RF 1983-28, Photo: Erich Lessing/Art Resource, NYSeptember 9, 2008—The Minneapolis Institute of Arts (MIA) today announced that it will host The Louvre and the Masterpiece from October 18, 2009 through January 10, 2010. This exhibition is presented by U.S. Bank and features works of art drawn from all eight of the Musée du Louvre’s departments, spanning 4,000 years. Organized by the Musée du Louvre and the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, the exhibition will premiere at the High from October 12, 2008, through September 6, 2009.

“A significant component of our Louvre strategy is to fulfill our global outreach as completely as we can,” said Henri Loyrette, Director of the Louvre. “A presentation of this exhibition at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts renews our commitment to this mission.”

“We are thrilled to work with the Louvre and the High Museum of Art, with the support of U. S. Bank, to bring these masterpieces to Minnesota for the first time,” said Kaywin Feldman, Director and President of the Minneapolis Institute of Arts. “This is a great opportunity to explore what makes a work of art a masterpiece, with superb examples from the most famous museum in the world.”

The Louvre and the Masterpiece explores how the definition of a “masterpiece” as well as taste and connoisseurship, have changed over time. Paintings, sculpture, decorative arts, and drawings will reflect three major themes: the changing historical and cultural definitions of a masterpiece; authenticity and connoisseurship; and the evolution of taste and scholarship.

U.S. Bank has stepped forward as presenting sponsor for the exhibition in Minneapolis. “It is a privilege to partner with the Minneapolis Institute of Arts to help our community experience these artistic treasures first-hand,” said Elliot Jaffee, U.S. Bank Twin Cities Market President. “We appreciate the special opportunity we have, from our headquarters here in Minneapolis, to share such an important exhibition with our clients, customers and employees, as well as visitors from throughout the region.”

The presentation of The Louvre and the Masterpiece is between the Musée du Louvre, Paris, and the High Museum of Art, Atlanta.

full press release »

Image: Johannes Vermeer (Dutch, 1632–1675), The Astronomer, 1668, oil on canvas, Musée du Louvre, Department of Paintings, RF 1983-28, Photo: Erich Lessing/Art Resource, NY