Collecting Impressionism: Telfair’s Modern Vision traces the early 20th-century footsteps of noted Telfair art advisor Gari Melchers (1860–1932) as he traveled the country and the globe identifying remarkable examples of the avant- garde art movement and giving them a permanent home in Savannah.
In the 1870s, a radical new style of painting made its debut: Impressionism. Artists associated with the Impressionist movement broke with tradition by focusing on the effects of light and atmosphere, featuring a bright palette of vibrant colors and choppy, textured brushstrokes, and by taking modern life, rather than scenes from history or mythology, as their subject. This avant-garde style of art making quickly spread from its epicenter in Paris to other artistic hubs throughout Europe, the United States, and the world. In Savannah, Telfair Museums began acquiring and exhibiting canvases by French, German, and American Impressionist painters as early as 1906, often purchasing works directly from the artists themselves.
In this exhibition, Telfair Museums digs deep into its more than 7,000-work permanent collection to reveal some of the most striking examples of American, German, and French Impressionism in the United States. Collecting Impressionism: Telfair’s Modern Vision traces the early 20th-century footsteps of noted Telfair art advisor Gari Melchers (1860–1932) as he traveled the country and the globe identifying remarkable examples of the avant- garde art movement and giving them a permanent home in Savannah. His prescient collecting decisions laid the groundwork for one of the most important and beloved parts of Telfair’s collection.
The exhibition tells the story of Impressionism through Telfair’s unique lens, highlighting more than three dozen works by Jean-François Raffaëlli, George Sauter, Ernst Oppler, George Hitchcock, Childe Hassam, Willard Metcalf, William Merritt Chase, and many more, including Melchers himself.
Collecting Impressionism: Telfair’s Modern Vision is organized by Telfair Museums and curated by Courtney McNeil, Chief Curator & Deputy Director for Curatorial Affairs.
Annual exhibition support provided by Director’s Circle Council Members:
Curtis and Elizabeth Anderson
Jules and Doug Bain
Mr. and Mrs. Dale C. Critz, Jr.
Mr. and Mrs. Dale C. Critz, Sr.
Alice and Bob Jepson
Mr. and Mrs. Theodore J. Kleisner
Mr. and Mrs. Robert M. Levy
Wilson and Linda Fisk Morris
Dave and Sylvaine Neises
Kim and Mark Smith
Cathy and Philip Solomons
Pamela L. and Peter S. Voss
Don and Cindy Waters
Mr. and Mrs. Dwaine L. Willett
Ms. Susan Willetts and Mr. Alan K. Pritz
Dr. Victor L. Andrews
Malcolm and Julia Butler
Joan and Garey Capen
Mr. and Mrs. Charles W. Coker, Jr.
Mr. and Mrs. Timothy E. Coy
Jan and Lawrence Dorman
Dr. David M. Hillenbrand
Mr. and Mrs. Angus C. Littlejohn
Dr. and Mrs. William T. Moore
Mr. David A. Rea and Ms. Noelle J. Gauthier
Mr. C.B. Richardson
Dr. Carol Riddick and Mr. Frank Riddick
Mr. and Mrs. William H. Roelle
Carl and Barbara Sassano
Jacqueline and Ken Sirlin
Marti and Austin Sullivan
|Gloria and Durwood Almkuist
Melissa and Kelly Bouchillon
Leda Chong and Kevin Dewalt
Lindsay and Brent Harlander
Mr. and Mrs. Patrick J. Haynes III
Mr. and Mrs. Charles Hinnant
Mr. and Mrs. Myron Kaminsky
Kelley and Josh Keller
Mrs. Robert O. Levitt
Linda and Tom McWhorter
Courtney and Jay Neely
Mr. and Mrs. J. Herbert Ogden, Jr.
Mr. and Mrs. David E. Paddison
Mr. and Mrs. Stephen Rabinowitz
Thomas V. and Susan G. Reilly
Ms. Swann Seiler
Randall and Valerie Stolt
Mr. and Mrs. John L. Tucker
Additional exhibition support provided by:
Sylvaine and David Neises Fund for Exhibitions
Susan G. and Thomas V. Reilly Fund for Exhibitions
Telfair Academy Guild
Charles Ellis III & Julie McIntosh
Mr. and Mrs. James O. Dekle
Mrs. Peggy G. Good
Ann Y. Miller
Georgine Scott – Realtor, The Landings Company
Jacqueline and Ken Sirlin