Bouguereau & America
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Comprising approximately 50 masterful paintings by the French academic painter William-Adolphe Bouguereau (1825–1905), this exhibition explores the artist’s remarkable popularity in the United States, particularly from the late 1800s to the early twentieth century. Bouguereau painted what appealed to his Gilded Age patrons. As such, his subject matter—chastely sensual maidens, Raphaelesque Madonnas, and impossibly pristine peasant children—mirrors the religious beliefs, sexual mores, social problems, and desires of that period.
In addition to providing a comprehensive survey of the artist’s oeuvre as collected in the United States, the project will consider Bouguereau’s paintings as unique reflections of the interests of the time. This exhibition will, therefore, be the first to study the artist, whose work forms the backbone of many museum collections, from this unique perspective.
Co-organized by the Milwaukee Art Museum and the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art
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