Daumier: Paintings and Drawings: an Exhibition Organized by the Arts Council of Great Britain at the Tate Gallery

Daumier: Paintings and Drawings: an Exhibition Organized by the Arts Council of Great Britain at the Tate Gallery

Daumier: Paintings and Drawings: an Exhibition Organized by the Arts Council of Great Britain at the Tate Gallery

Daumier: Paintings and Drawings: an Exhibition Organized by the Arts Council of Great Britain at the Tate Gallery

Excerpt

For a number of years the Arts Council has considered arranging a small exhibition of Daumier's work, including sculpture and lithographs, at its own gallery in St James's Square. The initial suggestion was made in 1958 by Mr Alan Bowness, who was to have organized the exhibition on the Council's behalf. After consultation with Mr K. E. Maison however, who is at present engaged on a catalogue raisonné of the artist's work, he expressed the opinion that it would be preferable to embark instead on a major representative exhibition of the paintings and drawings only. This would naturally take considerably more time to assemble and we therefore invited Mr Maison (who had long wished to produce such an exhibition) to undertake the charge. The Council was fortunate in securing so unrivalled an authority for the purpose and we are deeply grateful to him for the untiring energy he has devoted to the exhibition. Mr Maison has not only selected and catalogued the exhibits, but he has been personally responsible for securing almost all the loans, a task that entailed lengthy correspondence and visits to several countries. Many of the works shown here, and particularly those from private collections in France and the United States, are virtually unknown in this country and some of them have not been exhibited before. The exhibition contains the largest assembly of Daumier's paintings ever to be seen under one roof since the 1901 exhibition at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris; Mr Maison, moreover, throws a new light in this catalogue on the difficult problems of dating and authenticity.

That it has been possible to present so comprehensive a survey of Daumier's œuvre as a painter and draughtsman is due to the splendid response from lenders. They are too numerous to mention individually, but their names will be found at the end of this catalogue. Their generosity, which in many cases has entailed a considerable sacrifice, is warmly appreciated and we are especially grateful to such institutions as the Museum Boymans-van Beuningen, Rotterdam, the Corporation of Glasgow and the National Museum of Wales which have entrusted us with a large number of works and also to others, such as the Museum Folkwang, Essen, which have parted with particularly rare examples.

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