This week’s Modern Art Notes Podcast travels to Arcadia with Philadelphia Museum of Art curator Joseph Rishel and Kimbell Art Museum deputy director George Shackelford. Rishel is the curator of “Gauguin, Cezanne, Matisse: Visions of Arcadia,” a major exhibition that opens June 20 at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Shackelford, who was the head of European art at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston before decamping for the Kimbell, contributed a catalogue essay on the MFAB’s great Gauguin, Where Do We Come From? What Are We? Where Are We Going? (1897-98).
Rishel is the senior curator of European painting before 1900 at the PMA. His previous exhibitions include a major 1996 Cezanne retrospective and 2009’s “Cezanne and Beyond,” which surveyed Cezanne’s influence on generations of painters.
Rishel and I discuss:
- What Arcadia is and why artists became interested in it;
- Why progressive, budding modernists were so determined to revisit a centuries-old theme;
- Why the French state promoted paintings of Arcadia in the mid-19th century; and
- Why Rishel begins his show with Poussin and not, say, Titian.
Shackelford is the second guest on the program. He and I talk about Gauguin — and a particularly dramatic moment in Shackelford’s catalogue essay.
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The Modern Art Notes Podcast is an independent production of Modern Art Notes Media. It is released under this Creative Commons license. For images of the works discussed on this week’s show, click through to the jump.