Reunited and it Feels so Good: The Dixon's French Paintings Return

They're back! Our collection of French masterpieces has been seen by over 90,000 people across the nation this year and this Sunday at 2:00 pm, we're throwing a party to welcome it back on the walls of the Dixon!  We invite you to join us in the fun with a tour by Director Kevin Sharp and a special performance of Bach's Coffee Cantata by Opera Memphis as part of their 30 days of opera.

In honor of its homecoming, the Dixon staff was asked to take a "selfie" picture with their favorite piece from the collection of French paintings and tell us why they chose that particular work of art.

Here's what some of them had to say.


Nancy Trenthem, Executive Assistant: "I love this Maurice Utrillo because I can imagine myself walking down this street. I WANT to be walking down this street."


Erica McCarrens, Children's Program Coordinator: "My favorite painting from the permanent collection is Jean Louis Forain's gouache painting of Café Interior. I love the contrasting colors of rusty orange in the background, and the crisp blues and whites of the woman."


Jenny M. Duggan, Visitor Engagement: "Chagall is my favorite artist here at the Dixon. Bouquet of Flowers (pictured here), as well as, The Dreamer (also in our permanent collection) both rival for my affections. I love Chagall’s use of vivid, deep blues and his imaginative insertion of the violin playing goat in the world of the lovers. I would recommend, too, a song that I found a few years back called “Painting by Chagall” by music duo The Weepies. Listening to it will only enhance your love for this great artist."

Permanent collection selfie

Karen Strachan, Development Officer: "I pretty much love everything about this painting – the perspective, the color, the light, the movement, the focus – everything. The first time I saw it, I stopped short, completely captivated (and a little worried that if I moved I would capsize the gondola!) And still every time I see it, I stop short, wholly drawn into the scene and the moment and wholly unsure if I am the viewer or the viewed."

Other members of the staff saw this task as an outlet for artistic expression.

Back Camera

Hands on approach. Can you guess who this is?

Front Camera

Here he is again. Clue: his name rhymes with "Devin Harp."


"Eye" spy a favorite permanent collection piece?


The art of thinking.

Sarah S. Selfie 1

More favorites from the staff. Who doesn't love Monet?


Or this lovely piece by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec?


This Chagall painting is easily a contender for "most popular." Call it flower power maybe?

The reinstallation of our collection of French paintings has felt more like a process of rediscovery for the staff. Barbara Buchanan of Visitor Services fondly recalls one of her favorite pieces. "I am drawn to Renoir’s The Wave.  I love the beach during a storm, and he so perfectly captures it.  I can imagine myself standing in the surf as the waves pound the shore, in awe of the power of nature." Melissa Bosdorf, Dixon Gallery Secretary, shares Barbara's sentiment of The Wave saying, "Aside from loving the colors he used, I love the sense of movement and the textures in the piece."

What will be your favorite piece from the collection? Come to the Dixon this Sunday at 2:00 pm and find out.  For more information about the Dixon French Masterpieces reception, please visit our website.

Posted by Dixon Blogger at 6:54 PM

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