Seeing Nature: Landscape Masterworks from the Paul G. Allen Family Collection

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A rare opportunity to see outstanding paintings this summer at Minneapolis Institute of Art

Minneapolis, MN, June 28, 2016, Minneapolis—The Minneapolis Institute of Art (Mia) presents a major exhibition featuring 39 spectacular landscape paintings drawn from the private collection of Paul G. Allen, philanthropist and Microsoft co-founder. Spanning five centuries, the exhibition illuminates the rich and varied approaches in European and American art to the landscape genre. Among the masterpieces are works by Claude Monet, Gustav Klimt, Edward Hopper, Georgia O’Keeffe, and David Hockney. On view July 10–September 18, 2016, “Seeing Nature: Landscape Masterworks from the Paul G. Allen Family Collection” is co-organized by the Portland Art Museum, the Seattle Art Museum, and the Paul G. Allen Family Collection.

The selection is lush and wide-ranging, from Jan Brueghel the Younger’s series devoted to the five senses to Canaletto’s celebrated views of Venice, to works by renowned innovators of landscape such as Joseph Mallord William Turner, Paul Cézanne, Edouard Manet, René Magritte, Max Ernst, and Gerhard Richter. In the 19th century, the Impressionists sought to record a more personal vision of landscape; they focused on techniques to translate the sensations of light and color onto canvas. “Seeing Nature” includes five Impressionist canvases by the French master Claude Monet, depicting landscapes in France, London, and Venice.

“’Seeing Nature’ provides our visitors with an exciting opportunity to view masterpieces rarely on public display by some of the most celebrated artists in the history of art,” said Rachel McGarry, PhD, associate curator at Mia and the exhibition’s site curator. “The landscapes will transport you to farflung destinations—Venice, London, the Grand Canyon, a sunny seashore, a hilly country road, a quiet forest—and might even change the way you see those places.”

The exhibition reveals the power of landscape to locate the viewer in time and place—to record, explore, and understand the natural and manmade world. The show juxtaposes works from different centuries to illuminate fresh approaches to traditional landscape subjects and each artist’s singular vision.

Exhibition Highlights

• This collection is particularly strong in the works of Monet: it features five great landscapes spanning 30 years, from views of the French countryside to one of the artist’s late immersive representations of his garden at Giverny, The Water-Lily Pond (1919).

• Works by Cézanne and his fellow Post-Impressionists show a more structured and theoretical approach to paintings, such as Mont Sainte-Victoire (1888–90).

• A rare landscape masterpiece by the Austrian painter Gustav Klimt, Birch Forest (1903) is a centerpiece in the exhibition’s final gallery.

• Paintings by American painters Thomas Moran, John Singer Sargent, Maxfield Parrish, Thomas Hart Benton, and others provide an American perspective on landscapes at home and abroad.

• Monumental landscapes by contemporary artists such as Gerhard Richter, David Hockney, and Ed Ruscha are also represented, the most recent of which is a large, atmospheric landscape by the American painter April Gornik.

“Seeing Nature: Landscape Masterworks from the Paul G. Allen Family Collection” is accompanied by a full-color, hard-bound publication with scholarly essays and catalogue entries, as well as an interview with Paul Allen. The catalogue is available in The Store at Mia and retails for $39.95.

“Seeing Nature: Landscape Masterworks from the Paul G. Allen Family Collection” debuted at the Portland Art Museum on October 10, 2015. On view in Portland through January 10, 2016, the show then traveled to The Phillips Collection in Washington, D.C. (February 6 – May 8, 2016). It is on view at the Minneapolis Institute of Art (July 10 – September 18, 2016), the New Orleans Museum of Art (October 14, 2016 – January 15, 2017), and the Seattle Art Museum (February 16 – May 21, 2017).

The exhibition is co-organized by Portland Art Museum, Seattle Art Museum and the Paul G. Allen Family Collection. This exhibition is supported by an indemnity from the Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities. Vulcan Inc. has also provided generous in-kind support.

Major Sponsors: Delta Air Lines, The Crosby Family Fund for Exhibitions

Related Programming

In conjunction with “Seeing Nature”, Mia and Mississippi Park Connection will partner this summer to celebrate the Centennial of the National Park Service. Nineteen “museum-worthy” frames of various sizes will be placed at some of the most iconic and photogenic locations within the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area. Visitors are invited to “see nature” through the frames and create landscapes by taking a picture to share with their social networks, using the hashtags #parkconnection and #seeingnature. The images will then aggregate on Mia’s website.