The Barnes Foundation Presents Modigliani Up Close
The first exhibition to spotlight conservation research exploring Modigliani’s working methods and materials
October 16, 2022–January 29, 2023
Press Preview: Wednesday, October 12, 9:30 am
Philadelphia, PA, August 22, 2022—This fall, in celebration of its centennial, the Barnes Foundation will present Modigliani Up Close, a major loan exhibition that shares new insights into Amedeo Modigliani’s working methods and materials. On view in the Roberts Gallery from October 16, 2022, through January 29, 2023, Modigliani Up Close is curated by an international team of art historians and conservators: Barbara Buckley, Senior Director of Conservation and Chief Conservator of Paintings at the Barnes; Simonetta Fraquelli, independent curator and Consulting Curator for the Barnes; Nancy Ireson, Deputy Director for Collections and Exhibitions & Gund Family Chief Curator at the Barnes; and Annette King, Paintings Conservator at Tate, London.
Modigliani Up Close is sponsored by Morgan Stanley and Comcast NBCUniversal. Additional support is provided by the David Berg Foundation, Sue Perel Rosefsky, Alter Family Foundation, Pamela and David Berkman, Julie Jensen Bryan and Robert Bryan, Laura and Bill Buck, Marianne Dean, Dietz & Watson, Roberta and Carl Dranoff, Deborah Glass, Anne and Matt Hamilton, Pamela and James Hill, Amy Donohue-Korman and John Korman, Sueyun and Gene Locks, the Samuel P. Mandell Foundation, Yasmina M. Moukarzel, Nicole and James Schaeffer, Joan Thalheimer, Bruce and Robbi Toll, Harriet and Larry Weiss, Margaret and Tom Whitford, Randi Zemsky and Bob Lane, and other generous individuals.
Amedeo Modigliani (1884–1920) is among the most celebrated artists of the 20th century. While many exhibitions have endeavored to reunite his paintings, sculptures, and drawings, Modigliani Up Close offers a unique opportunity to examine their production and explore how Modigliani constructed and composed his signature works. Featuring new scholarship that builds on research that began in 2017 with the major Modigliani retrospective at Tate Modern, this single-venue exhibition and its accompanying catalogue are the culmination of years of research by conservators and curators across Europe and the Americas. Modigliani Up Close furthers understanding of Modigliani’s approach to his art, refines a chronology of his paintings and sculptures, and helps to establish the locations and circumstances of where he worked.
“We are pleased to present this major exhibition that offers a detailed investigation of Modigliani’s unique style,” says Thom Collins, Neubauer Family Executive Director and President. “Stemming from a multiyear, global research effort, the show has brought the international art community together to create a collaborative vision of the artist’s practice, leaving a lasting legacy for future Modigliani scholarship. The Barnes collection is home to 16 works by the artist, one of the largest and most important groups of the artist’s works in the world, and the project provided a unique opportunity to fully explore their significance. We see once more how Dr. Barnes broke new ground in the history of collecting modern art.”
Featuring nearly 50 works from major collections, and organized into thematic sections, the exhibition presents paintings and sculptures alongside new findings that have resulted from the technical research of collaborating conservators, conservation scientists, and curators. Using analytical techniques, including X-radiography, infrared reflectography, and X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy (XRF), conservators and conservation scientists reveal previously unknown aspects of Modigliani’s work. Visitors will feel closer to Modigliani as an artist, seeing his work through the eyes of the experts, catching glimpses of the artist’s hand hidden beneath the surfaces of his work.
“Thanks to the work of conservators and curators from museums around the globe, Modigliani Up Close offers an unrivaled opportunity to understand how the artist made his iconic paintings and sculptures,” says Nancy Ireson. “The exhibition is a perfect demonstration of how, in addition to producing innovative research, the Barnes Foundation brings together colleagues in the field to share their findings and thoughts.”
This exhibition holds a special significance at the Barnes, as Dr. Albert C. Barnes was one of Modigliani’s earliest collectors in the United States and helped shape the artist’s critical reception in this country. In addition to works on paper, there are 12 significant paintings and one carved stone sculpture by Modigliani in the Barnes collection. With 12 paintings each, the Barnes and the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC, have the largest collections of Modigliani paintings in the world.
To learn more about works in Modigliani Up Close, visitors can use Barnes Focus, a mobile guide that works on any smartphone with a web browser. Previously only accessible for works in the Barnes collection, Modigliani Up Close marks the first occasion Barnes Focus can be used to explore loaned works in an exhibition. To use it, visitors simply open the guide by navigating to barnesfoc.us on a mobile browser and focus on a work of art; the guide will recognize the work and deliver information about it. Barnes Focus also leverages the Google Translate API, so you can automatically translate the guide into a variety of languages.
The fully illustrated exhibition catalogue, Modigliani Up Close, is published by the Barnes Foundation in association with Yale University Press and edited by Barbara Buckley, Simonetta Fraquelli, Nancy Ireson, and Annette King. The catalogue, featuring 360 images, offers a focused exploration of how Modigliani constructed and composed his signature works and sheds light on Dr. Barnes’s role in the trajectory of Modigliani’s career. The Barnes collection is home to one of the most important groups of Modigliani works in the world and the catalogue brings these works together with some 50 other important examples from public and private collections around the world.
Organized into thematic groupings, the works are interpreted through the lens of new research carried out by renowned conservators, including Barbara Buckley and Annette King. In addition to scholarly contributions by the curatorial team, the book includes essays by Cindy Kang, Associate Curator at the Barnes, and art historian Alessandro De Stefani, and scholarly entries co-written by the project’s collaborating conservators, curators, and conservation scientists from participating institutions such as Allen Memorial Art Museum, Oberlin College, Ohio; Art Institute of Chicago; the Barnes Foundation; Collezione Fondazione Francesco Federico Cerruti per l’Arte; Dallas Museum of Art; Harvard Art Museums/Fogg Museum, Cambridge, Massachusetts; Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, DC; Indianapolis Museum of Art at Newfields; The Israel Museum, Jerusalem; Kunstmuseum Bern; LaM – Lille Métropole Musée d’Art Moderne, d’Art Contemporain et d’Art Brut, Villeneuve d’Ascq, France; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Minneapolis Institute of Art; Musée de l’Orangerie, Paris; Musée des Beaux-Arts de Nancy; Musée des Beaux-Arts de Rouen; Musée National Picasso–Paris; Museu de Arte Contemporânea da Universidade de São Paulo; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC; Philadelphia Museum of Art; Reuben and Edith Hecht Museum, University of Haifa, Israel; Saint Louis Art Museum; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; Statens Museum for Kunst, Copenhagen; Tate, London; Toledo Museum of Art; and Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Connecticut.
November 4, 6–9 pm
December 2, 6–9 pm
First Friday! at the Barnes takes place on the first Friday of each month. November’s program with Shinjoo Cho and the Oscuro Quintet is presented in partnership with Asian Arts Initiative. December will feature performances by Yolanda Wisher & the Afroeaters. Admission to our special exhibition is included in this event.
PECO Free First Sunday Family Day
November 6, 10 am–5 pm
December 4, 10 am–5 pm
This monthly program offers free admission to our galleries and special exhibition, plus performances and other family-friendly programming. November’s edition will explore multicultural dance performances in partnership with Musicopia. December’s centennial celebration will feature a choir performance by John Graves Productions.
2022 Centennial Barnes Art Ball
Friday, October 21
This year, the Barnes Foundation’s annual fundraiser celebrates our centennial, tenth anniversary on the Parkway, and Modigliani Up Close exhibition.
Online Class: The School of Paris
Instructor: Joseph Tokumasu Field, museum educator
Mondays, October 10–31, 1–3 pm
This course dives into the lives and work of the artists known collectively as the School of Paris in the first half of the 20th century—Modigliani, Soutine, Chagall, Pascin, and Lipchitz, among them. Learn about this critical moment in the development of visual art.
Hybrid Class: Modigliani A Life
Instructor: Matthew Palczynski, art historian
Wednesdays, October 12–November 2, 1–3 pm
Students in this book-club–style class, held at the Barnes and online, read Meryle Secrest’s acclaimed biography Modigliani: A Life (2011) and examine the artist’s works up close in the collection and special exhibition galleries.
Online Class: Early Modern Artists of Montmartre in the Barnes Collection
Instructor: Al Gury, Chair of Painting, PAFA
Wednesdays, November 9–December 7, 6–8 pm
Examine the methods, materials, and styles of the early modern painters of Paris, including Modigliani, Matisse, Picasso, and Derain. Plus, see video demonstrations of the painting processes of these important modern artists.
Online Class: Modigliani Up Close
Thursdays, November 10–December 8, 1–3 pm
This special course is co-taught by the team of curators and conservators behind Modigliani Up Close. Learn about the artist’s life, his working methods, and how his innovations fit into the broader history of European art.
Modigliani Keynote & Symposium
Friday–Saturday, January 27–28, 2023
On-site and online
This symposium brings together curators, conservators, conservation scientists, and other contributors to Modigliani Up Close to present new research on Modigliani, his working methods, and the works featured in the exhibition. Check website for more details.
Modigliani Up Close is organized by the Barnes Foundation, Philadelphia. It is curated by a prestigious and collaborative team of curators and conservators: Barbara Buckley, Senior Director of Conservation and Chief Conservator of Paintings, Barnes Foundation; Simonetta Fraquelli, independent curator and Consulting Curator for the Barnes; Nancy Ireson, Deputy Director for Collections and Exhibitions & Gund Family Chief Curator, and Annette King, Paintings Conservator, Tate, London.
Modigliani Up Close is sponsored by Morgan Stanley and Comcast NBCUniversal.
Additional support is provided by the David Berg Foundation, Sue Perel Rosefsky, Alter Family Foundation, Pamela and David Berkman, Julie Jensen Bryan and Robert Bryan, Laura and Bill Buck, Marianne Dean, Dietz & Watson, Roberta and Carl Dranoff, Deborah Glass, Anne and Matt Hamilton, Pamela and James Hill, Amy Donohue-Korman and John Korman, Sueyun and Gene Locks, the Samuel P. Mandell Foundation, Yasmina M. Moukarzel, Nicole and James Schaeffer, Joan Thalheimer, Bruce and Robbi Toll, Harriet and Larry Weiss, Margaret and Tom Whitford, Randi Zemsky and Bob Lane, and other generous individuals.
Ongoing support for exhibitions comes from the Christine and Michael Angelakis Exhibition Fund, the Jill and Sheldon Bonovitz Exhibition Fund, the Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation, the Christine and George Henisee Exhibition Fund, and Aileen and Brian Roberts.
The exhibition publication is made possible with generous support provided by Joan Garde, Bob Wilson and Michele Plante, the Lois and Julian Brodsky Publications Fund, and Furthermore: the J. M. Kaplan Fund.
This exhibition is supported by an indemnity from the Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities.
In addition, support for all exhibitions comes from contributors to the Barnes Foundation Exhibition Fund.
ABOUT THE BARNES FOUNDATION
The Barnes Foundation is a nonprofit cultural and educational institution that shares its unparalleled art collection with the public, organizes special exhibitions, and presents programming that fosters new ways of thinking about human creativity. The Barnes collection is displayed in ensembles that integrate art and objects from across cultures and time periods, overturning traditional hierarchies and revealing universal elements of human expression. Home to one of the world’s finest collections of impressionist, post-impressionist, and modern paintings—including the largest groups of paintings by Pierre-Auguste Renoir and Paul Cézanne in existence—the Barnes brings together renowned canvases by Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso, Amedeo Modigliani, and Vincent van Gogh, alongside African, Asian, ancient, medieval, and Native American art as well as metalwork, furniture, and decorative art.
The Barnes Foundation was established by Dr. Albert C. Barnes in 1922 to “promote the advancement of education and the appreciation of the fine arts and horticulture.” A visionary collector and pioneering educator, Dr. Barnes was also a fierce advocate for the civil rights of African Americans, women, and the economically marginalized. Committed to racial equality and social justice, he established a scholarship program to support young Black artists, writers, and musicians who wanted to further their education. Dr. Barnes was deeply interested in African American culture and became actively involved in the Harlem Renaissance, during which he collaborated with philosopher Alain Locke and Charles S. Johnson, the scholar and activist, to promote awareness of the artistic value of African art.
Since moving to Philadelphia in 2012, the Barnes Foundation has expanded its commitment to diversity, inclusion, and social justice, teaching visual literacy in groundbreaking ways; investing in original scholarship relating to its collection; and enhancing accessibility throughout every facet of its programs.
FOR MORE INFORMATION
Deirdre Maher, Director of Communications
Online press office: barnesfoundation.org/press