Impressionists on the Water

Mar 11, 2013

Sailors and sailboats on calm water.

Gustave Caillebotte (French, 1848–1894) Regatta at Argenteuil,1893. Oil on canvas. 61 7/8 x 46 1/8 in. (157 x 117 cm). Private collection. Photograph © Comité Caillebotte, Paris

SAN FRANCISCO (March 11, 2013)—The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco are pleased to present Impressionists on the Water, an exhibition deeply tied to the physical and cultural landscape of the Bay Area. Impressionists on the Water has been organized in conjunction with America’s Cup and offers a unique complement to this summer’s races on the Bay.

This exhibition celebrates the French Impressionists’ fascination with recreational and competitive sailing, a developing sport in 19th century France. Select highlights from the Museums’ permanent collection will be joined at the Legion of Honor with key loans from the Musée d’Orsay, Paris; the National Gallery of Art, Washington DC; the Nationalmuseum, Stockholm; and the Kröller-Müller Museum, Otterlo, The Netherlands, among other notable institutions.

Artists featured in Impressionists on the Water often had significant experience with sailing and other water sports; Gustave Caillebotte was a talented boat designer and builder, Claude Monet painted aboard a floating boat studio, and Paul Signac sailed the coasts of Europe extensively in the roughly 30 boats he owned during his lifetime. These artists’ hands-on experience lends many of the paintings and works on paper in this exhibition a precise level of detail and an evident sense of practical knowledge of sailing, yachting, and rowing.

Impressionists on the Water features approximately 85 works by Pre-Impressionists, Impressionists, and Post-Impressionists, including Charles-François Daubigny, Claude Monet, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Gustave Caillebotte, Camille Pissarro, Alfred Sisley, Georges Seurat, Paul Signac, Théophile van Rysselberghe, Pierre Bonnard, and others. The exhibition also includes two boats and six boat models that further demonstrate the important role sailing, rowing, and yachting played in the social and artistic contexts of 19th-century France.

Presented in the Legion of Honor’s landmark building overlooking the Pacific Ocean and the Golden Gate Bridge, Impressionists on the Water offers a perfect opportunity for deeper engagement with maritime history, as well as the summer’s exciting regattas on the Bay.

Exhibition Organization
Exhibition organized by the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. Major Patrons: Mrs. George F. Jewett and San Francisco Auxiliary of the Fine Arts Museums. Patron: Mrs. James K. McWilliams. Additional support is provided by the Estate of Donald Casey and the Bequest of Lois E. Kalb. Media sponsor support: San Francisco Chronicle \, KSFO 560 AM, and KPIX-TV. Supported by an indemnity from the Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities. Community Partner: Ghirardelli Chocolate Company.

Legion of Honor, Lincoln Park, 34th Avenue and Clement Street, San Francisco, CA 94121
Hours: Tuesdays–Sundays, 9:30 am–5:15 pm, last ticket 4:30 pm. Closed Mondays.

de Young, Golden Gate Park, 50 Hagiwara Tea Garden Drive, San Francisco, CA 94118
Hours: Tuesdays–Sundays, 9:30 am–5:15 pm, last ticket 4:30 pm; Friday (March 29–November 29, 2013) 9:30 am–8:45 pm, last ticket 8 pm. Closed Mondays.

General Admission
$10 Adults; $7 Seniors (65 and over); $6 Students with current ID and Youths 13–17. Members and children 12 and under are free. General admission is free the first Tuesday of every month.

Additional fees apply for special exhibitions.

Tickets can be purchased on site and on the museums’ respective websites: &

Groups of 10 tickets or more receive discounts and special access. Email for more information and booking.

About the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco
The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, comprising the de Young Museum in Golden Gate Park and the Legion of Honor in Lincoln Park, is the largest public arts institution in San Francisco.

The de Young is housed in a copper-clad landmark building designed by Swiss architects Herzog and de Meuron. It showcases the institution’s significant collections of American painting, sculpture, and decorative arts from the 17th to the 21st centuries; art from Africa, Oceania, and the Americas; a diverse collection of costumes and textiles; and international contemporary art.

The Legion of Honor’s Beaux-Arts building designed by George Applegarth is located on a bluff overlooking the Golden Gate Bridge. Its collections span 4,000 years and include European paintings, sculptures, and decorative arts; ancient art from the Mediterranean basin; and the largest collection of works on paper in the American West.

Images from all exhibitions and museums available upon request.

Media Contacts
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