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Marie Laurencin: Sapphic Paris

October 22, 2023 – January 21, 2024

About the Exhibition

“This show emphasizes Laurencin’s vision of a sapphic world without men, which makes it the first of its kind in a major institution.” —The New York Times

Beginning in the early 20th century, French artist Marie Laurencin (1883–1956) created a unique pictorial world that placed women at the center of modern art. With a highly original painting style that defied categorization, she moved seamlessly between the male-dominated cubist avant-garde, lesbian literary and artistic circles, and the realms of fashion, ballet, and decorative arts.

On view in the Roberts Gallery, this exhibition explores Laurencin’s career, from her self-portraits to her collaborative decorative projects; from her early cubist paintings to her signature work—feminine and discreetly queer—that defined 1920s Paris. Presenting more than 50 works by Laurencin, it examines how her visualization of a “sapphic modernity” subtly but radically challenges existing narratives of modern European art.

A version of Marie Laurencin: Sapphic Paris will be on view at the Columbus Museum of Art from April 5 through August 18, 2024.


Marie Laurencin. Women with Dove, 1919. Centre Pompidou – Musée National d’Art Moderne / Centre de Création Industrielle, Paris. Gift of Lord Joseph Duveen, 1931, on deposit to Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Paris. Artwork © 2023 Fondation Foujita / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris. Photo: Jacques Faujour / Digital Image © 2023 CNAC/MNAM, Dist. RMN-Grand Palais / Art Resource, NY

Exhibition Organization

Marie Laurencin: Sapphic Paris is organized by the Barnes and curated by Simonetta Fraquelli, consultant curator, and Cindy Kang, curator at the Barnes.


Marie Laurencin: Sapphic Paris


This catalogue offers a long-overdue reassessment of Laurencin’s career and influence. Critical essays explore her early experiments with cubism; her exile in Spain during World War I; her collaborative projects with major figures of her time; and her role in the emergence of a “sapphic modernity” in Paris in the 1920s. Laurencin’s life and career are documented through an illustrated chronology and exhibition history, as well as more than 60 full-color plates. Hardcover; 208 pages


Marie Laurencin: Sapphic Paris is sponsored by:

Denise Littlefield Sobel

Additional support is provided by:

Funding for the exhibition comes from The Kaleta A. Doolin Foundation and Arthur M. Kaplan and R. Duane Perry.

Ongoing support for exhibitions comes from the Christine and Michael Angelakis Exhibition Fund, the Jill and Sheldon Bonovitz Exhibition Fund, the Lois and Julian Brodsky Exhibition Fund, the Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation, the Christine and George Henisee Exhibition Fund, Aileen and Brian Roberts, and the Tom and Margaret Lehr Whitford Exhibition Fund.

The exhibition publication is made possible with generous support from the Lois and Julian Brodsky Publications Fund.

In addition, funding for all exhibitions comes from contributors to the Barnes Foundation Exhibition Fund:

Joan Carter and John Aglialoro, Julia and David Fleischner, Leigh and John Middleton, Jeanette and Joe Neubauer

John Alchin and Hal Marryatt, Jill and Sheldon Bonovitz, Lois and Julian Brodsky, N. Judith Broudy, Laura and Bill Buck, Elaine W. Camarda and A. Morris Williams, Jr., Eugene and Michelle Dubay, Penelope P. Harris, Jones & Wajahat Family, Lisa D. Kabnick and John H. McFadden, Victor F. Keen and Jeanne Ruddy, Marguerite Lenfest, Maribeth and Steven Lerner, Leslie Miller and Richard Worley Foundation, Hilarie and Mitchell Morgan, The Park Family, Wendy and Mark Rayfield, Adele K. Schaeffer, Katie and Tony Schaeffer, Dr. and Mrs. Eugene E. Stark, Joan F. Thalheimer, Bruce and Robbi Toll, van Beuren Charitable Foundation, The Victory Foundation, Kirsten White, Randi Zemsky and Bob Lane, Anonymous.