Honore Victorin Daumier, Mr. Daumier, your series . . . is . . . charming . . . (Monsieur Daumier, votre serie . . . est . . . charmante . . . ), plate 78 from the series Caricaturana (Robert Macaire), 1838, handcolored lithograph on wove paper. Purchased through the Class of 1935 Memorial Fund; PR.2000.39.1. On view in the exhibition France in Transformation.
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France in Transformation: The Caricature of Honoré Daumier
April 25 through August 24, 2009 | Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College
HANOVER, NH - The Hood Museum of Art is proud to present its newest exhibition, France in Transformation: The Caricature of Honoré Daumier, opening on April 25 and running until August 24. The exhibition delves into the sharply humorous satirical prints that defined Honoré Daumier's career as a pre-eminent critic of a French society roiled by political discontinuities and social change. This teaching exhibition will also be studied by Dartmouth students in several French courses this spring.
With France in Transformation, Abigail Weir, curatorial assistant at the Hood Museum of Art, seeks to illuminate the work of an artist whom the great poet Charles Baudelaire claimed to be "one of the most important men, not only of caricature but in the whole of modern art." Born in Marseilles, Daumier followed his family to Paris while still a child. After mastering the art of lithography, the young man immediately sought to publish his works the many popular publications of his day, thus marking the beginning of a career that would span almost forty years and include over four thousand prints.
This collection of over thirty original lithographs tracks Daumier's evolution as an artist and social commentator as modernity dawned in France. Daumier depicts contemporary stereotypes in a society marked by its intellectual bluestocking women, petty bourgeois, inept leaders, and stock characters such as con man "Robert Macaire." Using brash symbolism and intentionally inflammatory depictions, Daumier brilliantly captures the realities and absurdities of his times.
This exhibition was organized by the Hood Museum of Art and generously supported by the Frank L. Harrington 1924 Exhibition Fund. In conjunction with the exhibition, the Hood Museum of Art will sponsor a lunchtime gallery talk by Abigail Weir on May 26, 2009. An introductory tour of the exhibition will take place on May 30, 2009 at 2 P.M.
For more information about this exhibition or museum programming, please visit www.hoodmuseum.dartmouth.edu.
Last Updated: 4/24/09