June 15: KIA Opens L’esprit: Exploring Wit and Beauty in French Prints

The Kalamazoo Institute of Arts will open an exhibition featuring a collection of French prints and photographs on June 15. L’esprit: Exploring Wit and Beauty in French Prints celebrates the joys and foibles of French society and culture between 1830 and 1930, when Paris was the world capital of artistic creativity, innovation, and opportunity.
The exhibition will feature 72 works — roughly half the museum’s collection of French prints — and a small number of French photographs. Among the artists on view are Georges Braque, Honoré Daumier, Edgar Degas, Paul Gauguin, Théodore Géricault, Edouard Manet, Charles Méryon, Camille Pissarro, Georges Rouault, and James Tissot. It is being curated by Nancy Sojka, former Curator of Prints and Drawings for the Detroit Institute of Arts.
“Patrons will enjoy images that glorify or ridicule the ever-present French State, along with landscapes, monuments, and street life found in towns and cities, bucolic renditions of farm life, the adoration of beautiful women, the love of children,” says Sojka.
The exhibition continues through August 25, and is sponsored in Kalamazoo by Alliance Française de Kalamazoo.
Also opening at the KIA in June will be Moments of Peace: Watercolors by Sunghyun Moon (June 29) and Orna Ben-Ami: Entire Life in a Package. Ben-Ami is an Israeli sculptor exploring the international refugee crisis. Both artists will visit the KIA for a special program.
Continuing in other galleries will be the West Michigan Area Show (through August 25), and Rewards of Wisdom: Contemporary Chinese Ink Painting (through June 16).
The Kalamazoo Institute of Arts is located at 435 W. South Street, and is open six days (closed Mondays). Admission is $5, $2 for students. Children through age 12, KIA members, and active military personnel enjoy free admission.