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de Young Museum: A Taste for Modernism

On Saturday, September 15, the exhibition, “The William S. Paley Collection: A Taste for Modernism” opened at the M.H de Young Museum, in Golden Gate Park, San Francisco. Paul Gauguin‘s “The Seed of the Areoi” (1892) hangs alone on a freestanding panel, visible as soon as a visitor enters the exhibit. In the last of the four rooms of the show, André Derain‘s image, “Bridge Over the Riou” (1906) also hangs alone and exemplifies Gauguin’s lasting effect on his successors with regard to thinking about color.

Two paintings by Pablo Picasso, “Nude With Joined Hands” (1906) from his Rose Period, and “The Architect’s Table” (1912), a classic example of analytical Cubism, appeared at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art in “The Steins Collect” exhibition of 2011.

William S. Paley (1901-1990) was a founder of CBS and a longtime trustee and officer of New York’s Museum of Modern Art. His collection presented the designers of the exhibit at the de Young with interesting problems: there was no obvious chronology of the collected works to suggest an order of presentation. :-) The opening group of pieces by Gauguin, Édouard Manet, Francis Bacon, Alberto Giacometti, Pierre-August Renoir, and Paul Cézanne.

Works by Auguste Rodin highlight the small sculpture section.

Also in the collect are several works by Edgar Degas, and Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec‘s “Madame Lili Grenier” (1888). Works by Henri Matisse include “The Musketeer” (1903), “Landscape” (1918), “Odalisque With a Tambourine” (1925-26), and “Seated Woman with a Vase of Narcissus.”

The works and artists described, and even the sarcasm of the reviewer, 😉 make me eager to view the exhibition! The paintings, sculpture, and works on paper will be exhibited through December 30 at the de Young (415) 750-3600

-Bill at

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