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Indianapolis Museum of Art publishes first-ever survey of Neo-Impressionist portraiture
Jane Block, professor emerita of the University of Illinois, received her B.A. from Vassar College in French literature and her M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Michigan in art history.
INDIANAPOLIS, IN.- The Indianapolis Museum of Art (IMA), in partnership with Yale University Press, has published the first-ever comprehensive survey of Neo-Impressionist portraiture. The Neo-Impressionist Portrait, 1886-1904, was written by Dr. Jane Block, professor emerita of the University of Illinois, and Ellen W. Lee, the Wood-Pulliam Senior Curator at the IMA. The fully illustrated, 256-page catalogue - designed by prize-winning designers Miko McGinty and Rita Jules - accompanies the IMA’s upcoming exhibition, Face to Face: The Neo- Impressionist Portrait, 1886–1904, which was curated by the authors. It is available for purchase in the Museum Store and online at www.imamuseum.org/shop.

“The Indianapolis Museum of Art is home to the most comprehensive collection of Neo- Impressionist art in the United States, and we play a leading role in the study and conservation of this material. It was a natural step for us to delve more deeply into the portrait facet of the Neo- Impressionist movement,” said Dr. Charles L. Venable, the Melvin & Bren Simon Director and CEO at the IMA.

The lack of attention devoted to Neo-Impressionist portraiture was recognized by Block, who is a widely published author and distinguished scholar of 19th-century Franco-Belgian art and culture. Her collaboration with Lee, who has been critical in developing, exhibiting, and publishing the IMA’s Neo-Impressionist collection, brought about both the catalogue and exhibition.

“Perhaps because Georges Seurat’s development of Neo-Impressionism was so closely tied to the pursuit of brilliant color and natural light, landscapes and other scenes of outdoor life became the primary subjects for analyzing its technique,” said IMA curator Ellen W. Lee, co-editor of the book. “The Neo-Impressionist Portrait, 1886-1904 examines the role of portraiture within the movement and explores how it contributes to the rich culture of late-19th-century France and Belgium.”

The exhibition catalogue is available now for $47.50. Face to Face: The Neo-Impressionist Portrait, 1886–1904 opens at the Indianapolis Museum of Art on June 15 and runs through September 7, 2014.

Jane Block, professor emerita of the University of Illinois, received her B.A. from Vassar College in French literature and her M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Michigan in art history. She has published extensively on turn-of-the-century Belgian art, including articles on Georges Lemmen, Théo van Rysselberghe, Henry van de Velde, and Edmond Picard and his Maison d’art. Block is the author of a monograph on the poster artist, Gisbert Combaz, and served as editor for the essays in Belgium The Golden Decades. She was co-editor of the festschrift dedicated to the memory of Adrienne Fontainas, Homage to Adrienne Fontainas: Passionate Pilgrim for the Arts, where she published on the intended placement of Paul Signac’s Neo-Impressionist work, In the Time of Harmony, within Victor Horta’s Maison du Peuple. Dr. Block is an associate member of the Royal Academy of Science, Literature and Fine Arts of Belgium and was awarded the distinction of “Officier de l’Ordre de Léopold” by the Belgian government for her scholarship. She is co-curator of the international exhibition Face to Face: The Neo-Impressionist Portrait, 1886– 1904, scheduled to open at the Indianapolis Museum of Art in June of 2014.






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