Monet and American Impressionism

February 3, 2015 - May 24, 2015

Monet and American Impressionism highlights twenty-five artists who launched a new way of painting in response to the influence of French Impressionism. The exhibition presents roughly fifty paintings and twenty prints dated between 1880 and 1920 by many of the leading figures in American Impressionism, such as Mary Cassatt, William Merritt Chase, Childe Hassam, Willard Metcalf, Theodore Robinson, John Henry Twachtman, and J. Alden Weir. These artists adapted the innovations of French Impressionism and ultimately paved the way to a uniquely American style of painting in the 19th century. The exhibition includes landscapes, portraits, intimate depictions of women and children, and images of modern life such as urban views and popular leisure activities. In addition to paintings from the collections of the Harn Museum of Art, Telfair Museums, and Hunter Museum of American Art, works are on loan from a number of public museums.

The exhibition considers how proponents of Impressionism in America responded to the paintings of Claude Monet—both what they embraced and what they ignored—as well as to aspects of social and cultural life in the United States during the period. For example, the exhibition explores relevant issues of the day such as America’s fascination with French art and culture, the impact of tourism on artistic taste and consumer culture, changing roles of women in American society, and attitudes toward industrialization, exercise and public health. Four paintings by Monet are on display alongside the works by American artists. These groupings generate dialogue about techniques, composition and subject matter.

In addition to the leading painters of the day, the exhibition includes works by less renowned figures such as John Leslie Breck, Gari Melchers, Richard Miller, Lilla Cabot Perry, and Guy Wiggins, among others. Artists representing a new generation of painters who merged Impressionism with realist concerns includes Maurice Prendergast, William Glackens, Ernest Lawson, and Jonas Lie. The installation will be organized along five thematic groupings: “The Allure of Giverny,” “A Country Retreat,” “The Vibrance of Urbanism,” “The Comfort of Home,” and “A Graphic Legacy.”

Monet and American Impressionism is organized by the Harn Museum of Art in partnership with the Telfair Museums and the Hunter Museum of American Art and is curated by Dulce Román, Curator of Modern Art at the Harn Museum.  A fully illustrated catalogue accompanies the exhibition and will include an introduction by the curator, essays by invited scholars, and shorter essays by UF faculty who will address the artistic, cultural and historical context of American Impressionism from interdisciplinary perspectives. Contributing faculty members have been drawn from the fields of art history, history, French, English, women’s studies, and sociology.


Exhibition Resources

"American Music and Impressionism" - an essay by David Kushner, Professor Emeritus of Musicology, University of Florida.

Educator Resource - materials for K-12 educators.

Exhibition Prints

Did you find a favorite artist or artwork in the exhibition? Check out our selection of exhibition prints at 1,000 Museums.

Gari Melchers, Unpretentious Garden, 1903–1909, Telfair Museums,
Savannah, Georgia, Museum, purchase, Button Gwinnett, Autograph Fund,
Photo by Peter Harholdt

Exhibition Poem

"Lock Me Up" by Irma Fallon, Harn Docent

Lock me up in the Harn and don’t set me free,
With Monet and his friends, that’s where I’ll be,
Strolling the gardens, along the French  shore,
Lying in oat fields with poppies galore.

I’ll study the paintings, all night and all day,
They’ll be my companions, from them I’ll ne’er stray,
I’ll know every line, every form, every shape,
Lock me up in the Harn, don’t let me escape.

Giverny will allure me, and in that plein air,
I’ll smell Frieseke’s lillies, have tea in his chair,
I’ll wade in the stream ‘neath the poplars of Perry,
Lock me up in the Harn, how jolly, how merry.

The guards will ne’er see me, I’ll climb right through the paint
of Robinson’s scaffolding, I have no restraint,
I’ll swim in the gorge at Appledore cliffs,
Lock me up in the Harn, no buts, ands or ifs.

I’ll retreat in the country, in Shinnecock hills,
With Metcalf, I’ll freeze in Thawing Brook chills,
I’ll stroll by the Chestnut in Washington Square,
Bewitched by the Willows with Prendergast near.

For the Comfort of Home, I’ll strip and be nude,
Like Frieseke’s, Marcelle, now don’t think me rude,
Would I ever undress in front of Vonnoh?
I promise you Rebecca, the answer is NO!

So please lock me up, for three months or more,
I’ll learn so much art, for my small brain to store,
I’ll be the best docent that you ever had,
The Harn will be happy, the visitors glad.


Travel Locations

Hunter Museum of American Art
June 27, 2015 - September 20, 2015  |  Chattanooga, TN
Telfair Museums
October 16, 2015 - January 24, 2016  |  Savannah, GA


Past Events


February 8, 2015, 3 p.m.
Dulce Román, Curator of Modern Art

March 14, 2015, 3 p.m.
“For the Love of Art”
Sophia Krzys Acord, UF Lecturer in Sociology

April 19, 2015, 3 p.m.
“Women in Impressionism”
Melissa Hyde, UF Professor of Art History and Eric Segal, Harn Director of Education and Curator of Academic Programs

May 16, 2015, 3 p.m.
Dulce Román,
Curator of Modern Art


February 12, 2015
6 – 9 p.m.


February 18, 2015
1:30 – 4:30 p.m.

"Impressionism and the Florida Landscape"


March 19, 2015, 6 pm
March 20, 2015, 9 am - 5 pm

“America and France: New Perspectives on Transatlantic Visual Culture”

Click here for the Symposium Program


March 6, 2015, 11 a.m.
“Mixed Up Colors”

Feb. 24, 2015, 3:30 p.m.
“Mixed Up Colors”


April 18, 1 - 4 p.m.
“Paint like an Impressionist”

Slideshow Images
Left: Willard Leroy Metcalf, Giverny, 1887, collection of The Art Museum at the University of Kentucky; bequest of Addison M. Metcalf
Right: Lilla Cabot Perry, Landscape in Normandy, 1890, bequest of Diana Bonnor Lewis, Collection of the Newark Museum
Left: Helen M. Turner, Lillies, Lanterns, and Sunshine, 1923, on loan from Chrysler Museum of Art, Norfolk, VA, gift of W. B. S. Grandy.
Right: Claude Monet, Bridge at Argenteuil on a Gray Day, c. 1876, on loan from the Ailsa Mellon Bruce Collection, National Gallery of Art
Childe Hassam, Northeast Gorge at Appledore, 1912, Museum purchase by exchange, gift of Louise H. Courtelis with additional funds provided by Michael A. Singer
Claude Monet, Champ d'avoine (Oat Field), 1890, gift of Michael A. Singer