Missionaries of Impressionism: The American Collectors of Renoir
Commemorating the one-hundredth anniversary of the death of the great French Impressionist Pierre-Auguste Renoir, writer and historian Avis Berman will examine the artist’s legacy from the perspective of the pioneering Americans who embraced and supported his work well before French collectors or officials did so. Berman will chronicle Renoir's career, beginning in the 1880s when Renoir and the other Impressionists were first exhibited in the U.S.--and with their acceptance by no means guaranteed--and concluding in the mid-1930s, when Renoir had become an essential purchase for museums, moguls, and movie stars. Join us to learn more about the provocative artists, dealers, and collectors from this time period and to discover some of the most sumptuous and significant Renoirs in America, in addition to the portraits and photographs of the people who collected them.
An independent writer and art historian, Avis Berman has written extensively on painting, sculpture, photography, design, and museum history. She is the author of Rebels on Eighth Street: Juliana Force and the Whitney Museum of American Art; James McNeill Whistler; and Edward Hopper’s New York; and co-author and editor of Katharine Kuh’s memoir My Love Affair with Modern Art: Behind the Scenes with a Legendary Curator. Her latest book is Roy Lichtenstein: The Impossible Collection, which was published in May 2019.
Her articles and reviews have appeared in numerous magazines and newspapers, from the New York Times to Art & Antiques. She has also contributed essays to Armory Show, Brassaï, Roy Lichtenstein, and many more.
From 2010-2014, Ms. Berman organized and oversaw the first museum survey of William Glackens’s work in nearly fifty years, which traveled to three museums. In 2001, she helped establish the oral history program of the Roy Lichtenstein Foundation and in 2016 she began working on a similar project for the Helen Frankenthaler Foundation.