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Summer Exclusive for Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park


Only Midwest Venue for this Important Impressionist Exhibition

May 30 – August 31, 2008


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., — May 14, 2008Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park, the most significant sculpture and botanic experience in the Midwest and an emerging cultural destination on the national scene, is pleased to host the internationally acclaimed exhibition Degas in Bronze: The Complete Sculptures. The exhibition will be on display May 30 through August 31, 2008.


Degas in Bronze presents an extraordinary opportunity to experience Degas’ work in sculpture. A pioneering artist in many respects, Degas set the stage for later developments in modern art through his innovations in depicting form and movement. This is a rare opportunity to view the complete set of acclaimed A. A. Hébrard bronze castings—73 sculptures in total—one of only four complete sets in the world.


The exhibition is organized by International Arts, curated by Joseph S. Czestochowski, from the celebrated collections of MASP, Museu de Arte de São Paulo, Assis Chateaubriand, São Paulo, Brasil.


“The opportunity to present these 73 bronzes by celebrated Impressionist master, Edgar Degas is tremendous for the institution, Michigan and the entire Great Lakes region,” said Joseph Becherer, Director of Exhibitions and Curator of the Sculpture Program at Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park. “Although Degas’ bronzes are revered by museums collections, this group is one of only four complete sets in the world - allowing visitors the rare opportunity to understand the brilliance of the artist’s ideas about three dimensional form.”


Featured are three-dimensional explorations of the very themes for which Degas is well known: dancers, bathers, horses, and studies of the female figure. The centerpiece of the exhibition is Little Dancer, Aged Fourteen. Though he worked relentlessly on sculpture throughout his lifetime, only one wax sculpture Little Dancer, Aged Fourteen was exhibited.


It was not until after the artist's death in 1917 that the extent of his work in sculpture was made known when the contents of his studio were inventoried. More than 150 works in clay and wax were discovered, but their state of preservation and future were unresolved. In the following year, Degas' heirs decided to authorize a series edition of bronze casts to be made from 73 of the fragile wax and clay figures by master foundry man Albino Palazzolo at the famed Paris foundry A. A. Hébrard et Cie.


Although Degas bronzes are cherished works in museum collections across the globe, Degas in Bronze offers a rare opportunity for visitors to experience a set thanks to the significant loan from the MASP, Museu de Arte de São Paulo, Assis Chateaubriand, São Paulo, Brasil. The other sets are held by the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Musée d'Orsay, Paris; and the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, <
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