Gallery TakeoverEuropean Masterpieces from the Mellon Collection at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts

March 9, 2018 – March 1, 2020

Pierre Bonnard, The Open Window, c. 1919, Oil on canvas, 15″ x 18 1/8″, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond, Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon, © Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. Photo: Travis Fullerton.

The Museum of Fine Arts is excited to exhibit 11 paintings from the prestigious Mellon Collection, on loan from the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond. From the mid to late 20th century, philanthropists Paul and Rachel Lambert “Bunny” Mellon developed an extensive collection of 19th and 20th century European works. These paintings, illustrative of the artistic experimentation that occurred in these centuries, were not thematic in nature but instead reflective of the Mellon’s personal interests.

This exhibition represents over 100 years of art history, as can be seen from a small painted figure study, ca. 1820, by French artist Eugène Delacroix to a beautiful still life of a bouquet of flowers, created ca. 1952 by cubist painter Georges Braque. Works by Carle Vernet, Eugène Boudin, Pierre Bonnard, Raoul Dufy, Kees van Dongen, Jaques Villon and Giorgio Morandi will also be represented. The varied subject matter of these paintings provides an intimate window into the lives of Paul and Bunny Mellon. Built by a shared passion, it is a collection that served an integral role in their lives. For them, these works were meant to be lived with, enjoyed, and shared.

Gallery Takeover: European Masterpieces from the Mellon Collection at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts will be on view in the MFA’s Hannahs Gallery through March 1, 2020.