Superstars of Impressionism and Post-Impressionism on view at Norton Museum of Art in West Palm Beach

The Norton Museum of Art will host Artists in Motion: Impressionist and Modern Masterpieces from the Pearlman Collection, highlighting Paris’s vibrant and influential artistic environment during the late 19th and early 20th centuries through the collection of Henry and Rose Pearlman. The exhibition features nearly forty Impressionist and Post-Impressionist paintings, sculptures, and works on paper by celebrated artists like Paul Cézanne, Edgar Degas, Paul Gauguin, Vincent van Gogh, Édouard Manet, Amedeo Modigliani, Camille Pissarro, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec and Chaïm Soutine.

Exploring the intersecting lives and journeys of these renowned Paris-based artists, the show illustrates their experimentation with painting techniques that emphasize personal and subjective experiences. The exhibition will be on view at the Norton from October 14, 2023, through February 18, 2024. 

“Henry Pearlman, much like our namesake founder Ralph Norton, was fascinated by both the art and the lived experiences of the artists he collected. He sought work that reflected creative experimentation and meaningful exchanges and relationships among these renowned painters and sculptors, many of whom are also in the Norton collection,” Ghislain d’Humières, Director and CEO of the Norton, said. “We haven’t hosted an expansive exhibition of this genre of art for almost a decade, so we are excited to bring this remarkable exhibition to West Palm Beach.”

About the Exhibition

Artists in Motion stems from the time during the late 19th century when a group of artists centered in Paris sought to challenge traditional academic conventions and capture the essence of the modern world through their art. The exhibition will delve into the personal and artistic relationships between various artists, surveying the relationships that drove the experimentalism and creativity of this transformative artistic moment.

The exhibition will also explore Henry Pearlman’s role as a lifelong collector who was born to Russian Jewish immigrant parents in 1895 in New York City and investigate the influx of foreign artists in the early-20th century to Paris.

Henry Pearlman, and his wife Rose, an immigrant to America, were drawn to collect works by artists whose stories resonated with their own, such as Jacques Lipchitz, Soutine, Modigliani – Jewish artists who migrated to Paris and whose travels and emigration stimulated creative exchange and innovation. ​The exhibition showcases various works by these artists, including bronze sculptures by Lipchitz and a sculpted stone head and two painted portraits by Modigliani.

These artists, amongst others, lived in cooperative studios such as La Ruche (The Beehive) in the Montparnasse neighborhood. 

The exhibition features a cornerstone of the Pearlman collection: paintings and watercolors by avant-garde Post-Impressionist Paul Cézanne. The section will delve into the profound influence of Cézanne’s hometown, Aix-en-Provence, on his artistic identity and body of work. Notable paintings featured in this section include Cistern in the Grounds of the Château Noir (c. 1900), Route to Le Tholonet, (1900–04) and Mont Sainte-Victoire (c. 1904–06), from one of Cézanne’s most iconic series. These pieces exemplify Cézanne’s enduring dedication to exploring and pushing the boundaries of his work. 

The exhibition is accompanied by a free, richly illustrated digital catalogue exploring the Pearlman Collection through themes of travel, migration, and creativity. The introduction, written by Daniel Edelman, President of the Pearlman Foundation and Henry Pearlman’s grandson, examines Pearlman’s collecting journey and considers how his experience as the son of immigrants, and also as the spouse of an immigrant, may have influenced his affinity for artists whose experiences mirrored their own. The publication also includes three original poems, over sixty comparative illustrations, three maps illustrating the artists’ travels and movements, an interview with artist Zhang Hongtu, a series of essays about the artists and works on exhibit and an exhibition checklist.  

Artists in Motion: Impressionist and Modern Masterpieces from the Pearlman Collection is organized by the Princeton University Art Museum in collaboration with the Henry and Rose Pearlman Foundation. 

Amadeo Modigliani, Jean Cocteau, 1916. Oil on canvas. 39 1/2 inches by 32 inches.

ABOUT THE HENRY & ROSE PEARLMAN COLLECTION 

The Henry & Rose Pearlman Foundation Collection, one of the most exceptional private collections, was built by Henry Pearlman (1895–1974), who dedicated his life to collecting Post-Impressionist art. A native of New York City born to Russian Jewish immigrant parents, Pearlman established the Eastern Cold Storage Insulation Corporation in 1919, and later in 1925, he married Rose Fried.  

In 1945, following the conclusion of World War II, Pearlman embarked on a significant acquisition from a Manhattan auction house–a Chaïm Soutine landscapeView of Céret (1921–22), on view in the exhibition. This initial purchase ignited a deep passion for collecting that stayed with him until his final days. Pearlman relished the excitement of hunting for hidden masterpieces, which led him to unravel the social connections among artists and the profound aesthetic influences they had on each other.  

Following Henry Pearlman’s death in 1974, his wife Rose managed the collection under a private foundation until 1994. Since the mid-1970s, the Pearlman Collection has been on loan to the Princeton University Art Museum, where it has been accessible to visitors, scholars, and students to engage with these extraordinary works.  

ABOUT THE NORTON MUSEUM OF ART 

Founded in 1941 by Ralph Hubbard Norton and his wife Elizabeth Calhoun Norton, The Norton Museum of Art has grown and evolved to become one of Florida’s major cultural institutions. The Museum is internationally known for its collection of more than 8,200 works of art in American Art, Chinese Art, Contemporary Art, European Art and Photography.

The Museum presents special exhibitions, lectures, tours and programs for adults and children throughout the year. 

In 2019, the museum expanded to include the Kenneth C. Griffin Building, which includes 12,000 square feet of new gallery space; expanded classroom space; a larger student exhibition space; a state-of-the art, 210-seat auditorium; a new store and restaurant; and a Great Hall serving as the Museum’s “living room.” The expansion also includes a lawn for outdoor programming, or relaxing, and a sculpture garden.

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