Virtual Tour: Eye to Eye

In honor of National Art Museum Day we are sharing a look at the 2019 exhibition Eye to Eye: A New Look at the Dixon Collection.

The Dixon’s collection started when Margaret and Hugo Dixon first began collecting art in the 1940s--they were drawn to British Grand Manner portraits that reflected Mr. Dixon’s English upbringing. Portraits by Henry Raeburn and Joshua Reynolds in the collection today are from this period in their collecting. They met the great scholar of Impressionism, John Rewald, in the 1950s, and soon their collecting focus shifted to French Impressionism and Post-Impressionism.  When the Dixon Gallery and Gardens opened its doors in 1976, we had only 31 works in our fine art collection—all bequests from Margaret and Hugo Dixon. We like to say the Dixon’s collection started “tiny but mighty!”

In recent years, various gifts and acquisitions have been transformative in shaping the Dixon’s collection for the future, helping to position us as one of the nation’s leading centers for the study of late nineteenth and early twentieth-century art. Over the years, we have used the Dixon’s renowned permanent collection to tell a variety of stories, from the history of the Dixon itself to the story of Impressionism.

Eye to Eye: A New Look at the Dixon Collection considered our permanent collection through the themes that inform its subject matter. This exhibition highlighted some of the major ideas that influenced art produced in Europe and the United States from the eighteenth through the early twentieth century. Artists returned again and again to timeless subjects that continue to inspire us to this day, including scenes of modern entertainment, views of the landscape in all its variety, and images of contemporary men, women, and children. The artists who created the works that addressed these themes employed many techniques, but they all stressed a sense of immediacy and a willingness to explore new approaches to art-making.

Posted by Kristen Rambo at 12:39 PM
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