The Chrysler Museum of Art will commemorate the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I with Henri Farré and the Birth of Combat Aviation.
On view Sept. 28, 2018–Jan. 27, 2019, the exhibition will include more than 20 paintings by the French combat artist as well as related materials that will educate audiences about the training, combat and equipment used during the early days of combat aviation. The Military Aviation Museum’s scale model of a Nieuport 11, the most important French fighter plane of the war, will be on display in Chrysler’s Museum’s Huber Court from Nov. 6–10.
Henri Farré (French 1871−1934), British Handley-Page Bomber, 1918, Oil on canvas,
Collection of the Military Aviation Museum, Virginia Beach, VA
The Chrysler will present the exhibition in partnership with the Military Aviation Museum of Virginia Beach, whose astonishing and world-famous collection traces the first 50 years of military aviation. “Besides its extraordinary collection of vintage aircraft, the Military Aviation Museum holds one of the largest collections of war paintings by this pioneer artist. We are proud to partner with them to bring these wonderful paintings to the Chrysler,” said Lloyd DeWitt, Ph.D., the Chrysler Museum’s Irene Leache Curator of European Art and Chief Curator.
Farré was the first to experience war in the air and depict it on canvas. Born in France, he trained in Paris and was a successful portrait painter in Buenos Aires, Argentina. At the age of 43, Farré left his comfortable and long-established artistic practice to return home and serve his country. He flew with the military air services as often as he could, sometimes daily, and then applied his experiences to the canvas at day’s end. Trained by Impressionist artists, his accomplished and atmospheric paintings show his efforts to find the language to communicate his experiences.
“Farré documented the birth of military aviation with unusual panache. He celebrated the open sky, the drama and gallantry of aerial combat and the escape from the catastrophic carnage of trench warfare below,” DeWitt said.
Just prior to the end of World War I, Farré toured his Sky Fighters of France exhibition around the United States to raise money for war widows and orphans. Following the tour, he remained in the United States and established a successful career in Chicago, where he lived until his death in 1934.
ABOUT THE CHRYSLER MUSEUM OF ART
The Chrysler Museum of Art is one of America’s most distinguished mid-sized art museums, with a nationally recognized collection of more than 30,000 objects, including one of the great glass collections in America. The core of the Chrysler’s collection comes from Walter P. Chrysler, Jr., an avid art collector who donated thousands of objects from his private collection to the Museum. The Museum has growing collections in many areas and mounts an ambitious schedule of visiting exhibitions and educational programs each season. The Chrysler has also been recognized nationally for its unique commitment to hospitality with its innovative gallery host program.
The Perry Glass Studio is a state-of-art facility on the Museum’s campus. The studio offers programming for aspiring and master artists alike in a variety of processes including glassblowing, fusing, flameworking, coldworking and neon. The studio has also cultivated a reputation for its cutting-edge performance evenings, and was the host venue of the 2017 Glass Arts Society Conference.
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