This November marks the 25th anniversary of the Wendy and Emery Reves Collection at the Dallas Museum of Art
. In 1985, the Museum received more than 1,400 works from the private art collection of Emery Reves including impressionist, post-impressionist, and modern paintings, sculptures, and works on paper, and decorative arts objects donated by the Wendy & Emery Reves Foundation, Inc. on behalf of Wendys late husband Emery. With this gift the Museums collections of late 19th- and early 20th-century European art and European decorative art were transformed.
To house the remarkable collection, the DMA opened a 16,500-square-foot wing in 1985 designed by the Museums architect, Edward Larrabee Barnes, to recreate five rooms from Villa La Pausa, the home of Wendy and Emery Reves in the south of France. The wing presents the entire Reves Collection, featuring important works by Pierre Bonnard, Paul Cézanne, Gustave Courbet, Paul Gauguin, Edouard Manet, Claude Monet, Auguste Rodin, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, and Vincent van Gogh, among others, which has been installed as it was in the original villa. Since its opening at the DMA, the Reves Collection has been one of the most visited galleries of the Museum. This year, the Museum launched an all-new smARTphone tour of the collection highlighting more than twenty works of art and offering behind-the-scenes fe at ures.
In celebration of the 25th anniversary, the Museum will host on October 28, 2010, at 7:30 p.m. a special Brettell Lecture focusing on the sculptor Auguste Rodin and his monumental decorative portal The Gates of Hell. Guest lecturer Antoinette le Normand-Romain, former curator of the Musée Rodin in Paris, will discuss this masterwork as well as three important sculptures by Rodin in the Wendy and Emery Reves Collection that were the products of the creative process for The Gates of Hell.
The Wendy and Emery Reves Collection stands as one of the great bequests in the Dallas Museum of Arts history, said Bonnie Pitman, The DMAs Eugene McDermott Director. The extraordinary gift of this remarkable collection 25 years ago significantly developed the Museums holdings of European art, and the contribution of European decorative arts, the area of Wendys particular personal interest, established the institutions collection in that area. These works of art in this unique setting are enjoyed enormously by our visitors.
Wendy and Emery Reves Mediterranean villa was originally built in 1927 by Coco Chanel, who directed the design of it with the architect Robert Streitz, and many of the furnishings in the rooms were part of Chanels original décor of the villa. The rooms recreated in the Museum include the library, dining room, salon, bedroom, and hall, as well as a patio built around a central courtyard. The patio and the hall were specifically designed at Chanels request to remind her of the Romanesque convent outside Paris where she boarded as a child.
The presentation of the Reves Collection at the Dallas Museum of Art replicates a collectors beloved home in Europe within an American museum setting; as Wendy Reves commented in 1985 at the Dallas opening, I do feel the spirit of La Pausa here, said Olivier Meslay, Senior Curator of European and American Art and The Barbara Thomas Lemmon Curator of European Art.
Among the masterpieces of the Reves Collection is Vincent van Goghs Sheaves of Wheat, which was the centerpiece of the Museums 2006 exhibition Van Goghs Sheaves of Wheat examining the artist's fascination with the motif and the artists work on paper Café Terrace at Night. This drawing was featured in two New York museum exhibitions over the past five years Van Gogh and the Colors of the Night at the Museum of Modern Art and Vincent van Gogh: The Drawings at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in 2005. Also part of the collection is The Duck Pond by Pierre-Auguste Renoir, which went to the National Gallery in London in 2007 for the exhibition Renoir Landscapes, 1865-1883. Camille Pissarros The Road to Versailles, Louveciennes: Morning Frost was requested by The Fabre Museum in Montpellier, France, in 2007 for its exhibition LImpressionisme vu dAmerique, which was then presented at Musée de Grenoble.
The extensive decorative arts holdings include over 300 superb pieces of Chinese export porcelain; European furniture; a rare French cabinet-on-stand attributed to Pierre Gole; a collection of rare 17th- and 18th-century frames from France, Italy , Spain, England, and Germany; European fans; important carpets from Europe and Central Asia; and over 150 silver objects.
The Reves Collection also includes a gallery of paintings and memorabilia from Sir Winston Churchill and a library of rare books, testimony of Emery Reves enduring friendship with Churchill and his career as a publisher and journalist.
Visitors to the Wendy and Emery Reves Collection can access a DMA smARTphone tour of highlights from the collection at DallasMuseumofArt.mobi. The 21 stops include paintings, such as Pierre-Auguste Renoirs Lise Sewing and Édouard Manets Vase of White Lilacs and Roses, and works on paper, such as Edgar Degas The B at hers and Camille Pissarros Self-Portrait. Visitors can also learn more about the collection of decorative arts. Biographies and images of artists are part of the special smARTphone fe at ure, as well as images of additional works by these artists found throughout the Museums galleries. Wendy Reves shares memories of life at Villa La Pausa and of collecting art. Archival photographs of the villa, visitors including Churchill and Salvador Dalí, and Chanel are also included.