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"Matisse: Masterworks from The Baltimore Museum of Art" opens at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts
Henri Matisse, Purple Robe and Anemones, 1937, oil on canvas, The Baltimore Museum of Art: The Cone Collection, formed by Dr. Claribel Cone and Miss Etta Cone of Baltimore, Maryland, BMA 1950.261 ©Succession H. Matisse, Paris/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

MINNEAPOLIS, MN.- The Minneapolis Institute of Arts offers a respite from winter with an enthusiastic jolt of color and life in “Matisse: Masterworks from The Baltimore Museum of Art,” an exhibition of approximately 80 paintings, sculptures, prints, and drawings by Henri Matisse. Spanning the length and breadth of his career, the works are drawn almost entirely from the legendary Cone Collection at The Baltimore Museum of Art, one of the most comprehensive caches of his work in the world. On view from February 23 to May 18, 2014, “Matisse” is a rare and perhaps once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see this renowned body of work.

“Endlessly creative, wildly influential, and unapologetically interested in joy and beauty, Matisse redefined the use of color, form, and balance—he is arguably the father of modern art,” says exhibition curator Erika Holmquist-Wall. “We are honored to present his work to the Twin Cities community on such a large scale.”

From landscapes to nudes, still lifes to interiors, the exhibition’s varied and vivid works explore the shifts in Matisse’s style over time—with a crowd-pleasing emphasis on his popular early paintings. Highlights include the iconic Large Reclining Nude (1935), Purple Robe and Anemones (1937), Two Girls, Red and Green Background (1947), Interior, Flowers and Parakeets (1924), and the artist’s book Jazz.

Matisse fondly referred to sisters Claribel and Etta Cone as “my two Baltimore ladies,” and together the women assembled one of the world’s most important art collections. In the early 20th century, the pair frequently traveled to Paris, visited Matisse and Picasso in their studios before they were famous, and purchased their art. Gertrude and Leo Stein, their well-connected friends and fellow art collectors, guided their collecting instincts. And thanks to resources from the Cone family’s textile business, the two women filled their Baltimore apartments with art from floor to ceiling, building their collection at a time when there were few American patrons of the avant-garde. Over 40 years, the sisters built a particularly close relationship with Matisse, acquiring more than 500 paintings, sculptures, drawings, and prints from the entire span of his career. The donations of Claribel and Etta Cone to The Baltimore Museum of Art comprise the museum’s esteemed Cone Collection.

Four concurrent companion exhibitions, collectively titled “More Matisse, Please!”, dive deeper into the master’s work and influence. Three of these exhibitions feature Matisse works from the MIA’s permanent collection: his book illustrations, his paintings and sculpture, and his drawings and prints. The other companion exhibition is “Chasing Matisse: American Moderns Under the Influence,” exploring his impact on American painters in the early 20th century. “Chasing Matisse” showcases paintings loaned to the MIA by Myron Kunin, a passionate collector and generous benefactor of American art who passed away in October 2013. The exhibitions of “More Matisse, Please!” are free admission.

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