DAY TRIP: Vive la art! Museum’s exhibit celebrates Modern-day masterpieces from France

December 28, 2018

DAVENPORT, Iowa – All that’s left of this hectic holiday season is New Year’s Eve. We’ve shopped ’til we dropped, gave out gifts, and now we’re making plans to ring in 2019. It’s enough to make our heads spin. Whoa! Hold on there!

Let’s take a break. Holiday time doesn’t have to be all about rushing around and gift returns. Close your eyes and take a deep breath. Now think of France, focus on Paris and then move in closer to the artwork of the French moderns.

What’s that? You can’t afford a trip to Paris? How about New York, to the Brooklyn Museum? No?Don’t worry, you can have the best of both worlds, and it’s only a Day Trip away.

Just head to Davenport to brush up on art at the Figge Art Museum, courtesy of the Brooklyn Museum of New York. Sixty works, including sculptures and paintings, are waiting for visitors to view them as they leisurely stroll through the museum. You’ll see Paul Cezanne, Henri Matisse, Claude Monet, Edgar Degas, Auguste Rodin and Pierre-Auguste Renoir,

One hundred years of work will be on display. The era of French Moderns was a time when the focus of art changed to everyday living, with the artists employing with vivid colors and bold brushstrokes.

The change happens before your eyes. You’ll start with the academic painters of the1800s, artists such as William-Adolphe Bouguereau and Jean-Leon Gerome, and continues into the time of those who were inspired by nature – Jean-Francois Millet, Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot and Eugene Boudin. Their work opened the door to the impressionists. Not only will you see works by Gustave Caillebotte, Berthe Morisot and Alfred Sisley, but you’ll get a view of what was going on in other countries – Germany, England and Italy are represented. For sculptures, Edgar Degas and Auguste Rodin’s works are featured.

Impressionists were responsible for a giant jump of innovation in visual arts, according to a news release on the exhibit. They pioneered new and bold approaches to image-making, as did artists in other parts of Europe.

With its main focus on the French, the Figge also has been offering programs in connection to French Moderns. A reservations-only dinner is planned for today, but there are things to do in the evening without dinner. The museum will be open until 9 p.m. Those not dining will find docents available from 6:30 to 8 at the exhibition to answer questions, and you can join a 7 p.m. docent-led tour. Museum admission will be charged.

See the works of famous artists during regular hours or enjoy French Friday’s evening opening. Let the quieting calm of French culture relax you before the revelry of a new year. And don’t worry, even if you don’t know art,you’ll know what you like when you see it.

If you go …

What: French Moderns: Monet to Matisse, 1850-1950

When: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, noon to 5 p.m. Sunday and 5 to 9 p.m. Thursday through Jan. 6, 2019

Where: Figge Art Museum, 225 W. Second St., Davenport, Iowa

Cost: $7 for adults, $6 seniors 60 and older and high school and college students with identification and $4 for children 4 to 12

Distance: About 84 miles from Dixon

Accessible: Accessible to wheelchairs

Information: 563-326-7804 or figgeartmuseum.org or Quad Cities Convention & Visitors Bureau at 800-747-7800 or visitquadcities.com

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