Columbus Museum of Art Celebrates Toulouse-Lautrec and La Belle Époque

For Immediate Release:
December 2, 2013


Media Contact:
Nancy Colvin, 614.629.0303



Columbus Museum of Art Celebrates

Toulouse-Lautrec and La Belle Époque


(Columbus, OH) -  The Columbus Museum of Art brings Toulouse-Lautrec’s Paris to lifeFebruary 7 - May 18, 2014. Toulouse-Lautrec and La Vie Moderne: Paris 1880 – 1910 invites visitors to explore the nightlife of cabaret theaters, elaborate circus performances and intimate café concerts that helped to define Paris as an iconic modern city.

The exhibition focuses on the intoxicating gathering of artists, writers, performers, and musicians in Montmartre, where everyone from Toulouse-Lautrec, who were living and working at the center of the artistic and cultural scene of Paris at the turn of the last century, or “La Belle Époque.” As CMA curator Dominique H. Vasseur notes, “Paris was a breeding ground for artistic and literary movements that challenged the establishment and sought to come to terms with a complex society that was changing, becoming wealthier and ever eager for entertainment as well as new, modern experiences.” 

Drawn from prestigious private and public collections, the artworks in this exhibition were made by a generation of artists who battled against the formality of Academic art standards, rebelling even against the styles of Impressionism and Post-Impressionism espoused by artists like Georges Seurat, Paul Gaugin, and Vincent Van Gogh. In addition to paintings and posters by Henri Toulouse-Lautrec, Mary Cassatt, Paul César Helleu, Juan Gris, and Pierre Bonnard, special attention is given to small groups of artists –the Naturalists, the Symbolists, the Incohérents, and the Nabis—who offered new visions for life and society during this era that has been popularly coined the fin de siècle or Belle Époque. 

The exhibition includes more than 185 objects, ranging from paintings, watercolors, drawings and posters, to rare cabaret shadow puppets, illustrated theater programs, and archival and ephemera materials from Parisian theaters, circuses, and concerts.

This exhibition is organized and circulated by Art Services International, Alexandria, Virginia. His Excellency Franҫois Delattre, Ambassador of France to the United States of America is Honorary Patron of the exhibition. Sponsored by the Friends of Toulouse-Lautrec, with lead gifts by Steve and Holly Wittmann. Ohio Magazine is the media sponsor for the exhibition.

Related Programs:

Looking for something fun and interesting to do on wintery afternoons?

Join us on a succession of Wednesdays at 2:00 pm in the Cardinal Health Auditorium for a series of discussions, collaborative performances, and presentations about and around our current special exhibition Toulouse-Lautrec and La Vie Moderne: Paris 1880 – 1900.  Dates for these presentations are:

February 19 - Music of Belle Époque Paris, presented by Justin Johnston and ProMusica Chamber Orchestra

March 5 – Literature of the period, presented by Nannette V. Maciejunes, CMA Executive Director, and Susanne Jaffe, Thurber House

March 19 – Fashion of the Belle Époque, by Jean Druesedow, Director, Kent State University Museum and former Associate Curator, Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

April 2 – Dance in the Belle Époque, presented by Karen Eliot, Professor, Department of Dance, The Ohio State University

Free with Museum admission. “Wednesdays @ 2 pm” series is sponsored by the Columbus Museum of Art Docent Alums.



CMA’s entrance has been moved to accommodate the construction of the Museum’s new wing. Visitors will now enter the building through the doors located in the West Garden, just off of 9th Street. The Museum parking lot located off of Gay Street is open and parking is free for CMA guests.


The Columbus Museum of Art creates great experiences with great art for everyone. The Greater Columbus Arts Council, Nationwide Foundation, Ohio Arts Council, and the Charlotte R. Haller, Lewis K. Osborne, and Robert B. Hurst funds of The Columbus Foundation provide ongoing support. CMA and the Museum Store are open Tuesday through Sunday from 10:00 am to 5:30 pm, and until 8:30 pm every Thursday. The Palette Express is open Tuesday through Friday from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm, Saturday and Sunday from 11:00 am – 4:00 pm. Museum admission is $12 for adults; $8 for seniors and students 6 and older; and free for members, children 5 and younger. Admission is free for all on Sundays. CMA Free Sundays presented by Arts Alive is made possible through a grant from PNC Foundation. For additional information, call 614.221.4848 or visit


#     #     #