Manet at Reed: Only the first in the decrepitude of your art

A special project in the foyer of the Cooley
December 10–19, 2019

Public reception: Friday, December 13, 4:00 pm–5:30 pm
Please join us for refreshments. Free and open to the public.

Reed College Art 412 and the Douglas F. Cooley Memorial Art Gallery are pleased to present the exhibition: Manet at Reed: Only the first in the decrepitude of your art. This intensive research project centers around an object from the Reed College Art Collection: an etched portrait of French poet Charles Baudelaire (1821–1867) by his friend and contemporary, artist Édouard Manet (1832–1883). 

Manet at Reed follows the lead of German artist Hans Haacke’s controversial installation Manet-PROJEKT ’74, 1974, which traced the ownership history of a single Manet still-life—Bunch of Asparagus, 1889—from the moment Manet finished the painting, to the time of Haacke’s exhibition. In keeping with this methodology, 

Manet at Reed concentrates on the history of Manet’s portrait of Baudelaire, from the moment its first iteration appears, to the present.

The exhibition’s subtitle—Only the first in the decrepitude of your art—is a puzzling remark Baudelaire penned to Manet in a letter written just after the opening of the 1865 Salon, where Manet’s Olympia created a major scandal. Are these words of consolation? confrontation? perhaps praise, or something else entirely? The exhibition explores the ambiguity and melancholia of Baudelaire’s words in relation to the history of Manet’s print. 

The exhibition is conceived and organized by Art 412, a 2019 fall-semester Art History course at Reed; the curators are Bailey Bast, William Diebold (professor), and Tatiana Zancajo-Lugo. The curators warmly thank Stephanie Snyder, director of the Cooley Gallery, who served as the project’s supervising curator, designed the accompanying publication, and contributed her expertise along the way. They also warmly thank Cooley exhibitions coordinator Colleen Gotze, and Reed Special Collections librarian Maria Cunningham, for their participation and expert assistance.

Thursday, December 19, 2019 at 12:00pm to 5:00pm

Cooley Art Gallery, Foyer
3203 Southeast Woodstock Boulevard, Portland, Oregon 97202-8199

Event Type

Exhibition, Reception


Faculty, Students, Alumni, Open to the Public, Staff

Art, Cooley Gallery
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