Fall Back In Love with the Dixon Permanent Collection by Julie Pierotti

Even though, especially in recent years, the Dixon has become known for the high-quality exhibitions we have been organizing and hosting, the core of who we are as an institution lies in our permanent collection.  The beginnings of that collection lie with our founders, Margaret and Hugo Dixon, and the twenty-seven works of art they bequeathed to the Dixon Gallery and Gardens upon their deaths in 1974.  That small group of paintings and works on paper, which includes Edgar Degas’ Dancer Adjusting Her Shoe (1885) and Henri Matisse’s The Palace, Belle Île (ca. 1896-97), among many others, has since grown to include over 2,000 objects, a testament to the shrewd guidance the institution has received from its governing boards and directors.   

In the fall of 2014, fifty-five works from the Dixon’s permanent collection traveled to the Tampa Museum of Art in Florida for the exhibition, Renoir to Chagall: Paris and the Allure of Color.  That exhibition received rave reviews and visitors flooded to the museum from the Tampa area and beyond to see the works of art that we have access to all the time at the Dixon.  So now that the collection is back in Memphis, we have mounted a series of programs for the month of February encouraging our visitors to fall back in love with our permanent collection.  We will have special tours, talks, programs, and activities the week of Valentine’s Day that all revolve around our world-class collection of French and American Impressionism and Post-Impressionism.   

And because it’s always fun to shake things up a bit, we have re-installed the permanent collection in the residence around four lovely themes:   

The Residence Library is all about love and lust.  Come see works by artists like Marc Chagall that illustrate the staying power of true love hanging alongside works dealing with “love for sale” by Jean-Louis Forain.  


The Residence Living Room will take you to some classic romantic destinations.  From the sandy shores of a sunset beach by Eugène-Louis Boudin to a night at the ballet, with Edgar Degas, let the Dixon be your personal travel agent!   


The Residence Foyer takes you step-by-step through a night on the town with your lover.  The works of art in this room illustrate perfectly the key to a successful night out.  Read to your children with Renoir, primp your hair with Paul-César Helleu, party with Forain, and don’t forget to stay in your pajamas the next day with Jacques-Émile Blanche!  

The final stop on our lovers tour of the permanent collection is the Residence Dining Room, where we have hand-picked a bunch of beautiful bouquets of flowers for your sweetie.  Berthe Morisot’s tulips spring to life next to Henri Fantin-Latour’s apple blossoms and Georges Braque’s anemones.  No need to stop at a florist when you’ve got flowers painted by some of the greatest artists of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries!   

If you can’t tell already, we are so excited to have our beloved collection of paintings back at home at the Dixon, and we are even more excited to share them with all of you.  Please be sure to take advantage of all of the special programs we have lined up to help you fall back in love with our collection, and maybe learn something about the works that you didn’t know before.    

Sometimes, absence really does make the heart grow fonder.  

Posted by Chantal Drake at 3:50 PM
Share |

Coming Up
Monday Closed
Tuesday - Saturday 10am - 5pm
Sunday 1pm - 5pm
Third Thursdays: Open until 8pm
Special / Holiday Hours

This site was funded generously by the Thomas W. Briggs Foundation, Inc. © Dixon Gallery and Gardens | Memphis Web Design by Speak