Art Curatorial Exhibitions

Mr. Layton’s Gallery–The Salon-Style Hang

View of Gallery 10. Photo by Chelsea Kelly
View of Gallery 10. Photo by Chelsea Kelly

If you’ve been in the European galleries in the last few weeks, you’ve probably noticed a dramatic transformation in Gallery 10!

The gallery has been reinstalled as part of the celebrations of the 125th anniversary of the founding of the Layton Art Gallery, which laid the foundation for what would become the Milwaukee Art Museum.  We’ve decided to call it Mr. Layton’s Gallery, after Milwaukee philanthropist Frederick Layton, who started it all.

You’ll find some paintings that are familiar (and part of the original gift from Frederick Layton): Old Stagecoach by Eastman Johnson, Hark! The Lark! by Winslow Homer, and Homer and His Guide by William Bouguereau. Other visitor favorites are part of this installation, such as The Last of the Spartans by Gaetano Trentanove and Le Père Jacques (Woodgatherer) by Jules Bastien-Lepage.

But what might be a surprise that you have probably never seen many of the paintings because they are usually stored in our paintings vault.  The result is a luscious gallery with 52 paintings and two sculptures. In this post, we’ll look at the history behind salon hangs, and show how we decided to use it for Gallery 10.

Art Curatorial

From the Collection–Léon Augustin Lhermitte’s “Haymaking Time”

Léon-Augustin Lhermitte, Haymaking Time (La Fenaison), 1897. Oil on canvas, 29 1/2 x 38 1/4 in. Milwaukee Art Museum, Purchase with funds from Avis Martin Heller in honor of the Fine Arts Society, M2010.68. Photo by John R. Glembin.

On October 14, the Milwaukee Art Museum opened the exhibition Impressionism: Masterworks on Paper.

The exhibition perfectly sets the scene for looking at a painting recently acquired by the Milwaukee Art Museum, shown at left as it looks mid-conservation.

Haymaking Time (La Fenaison) by the French artist Léon Augustin Lhermitte (1844–1925) is one of the most important paintings by an artist who was extremely influential in his day, but is not a household name today.

This painting can begin a conversation about how wide-ranging the term “impressionism” can be, and who was part of that celebrated movement, and who was not.