About This Event

Portrait of a man wearing a dark suit and dark gray tie.

Dr. Timothy Standring, Curator Emeritus of the Denver Art Museum

5 pm | Galleries open
5 to 6:45 pm | Live music with Bill Harshbarger and Friends
6 pm | Festive mingling and cash bar.
6:45 pm | Illustrated talk in the S. Jim and Darla Farha Great Hall. Galleries open until the talk begins.

The Fall 2021 Howard E. Wooden Lecture, sponsored by Friends of the Wichita Art Museum, explores this fascinating and cosmopolitan chapter in American art. In Whistler to Cassatt: The Making of an Exhibition, Dr. Timothy Standring will give the WAM audience a behind-the-scenes look at his groundbreaking exhibition on American painters in France. The exhibition, opening at the Denver Art Museum on November 14, features WAM’s own Mary Cassatt masterpiece, Mother and Child.

Dr. Timothy Standring is Curator Emeritus of the Denver Art Museum. Since joining DAM in 1989, Dr. Standring has aimed to make art and art history accessible to a broader public. He has curated more than 18 exhibitions, including the blockbusters Becoming Van Gogh, Rembrandt: Painter as Printmaker, and Degas: A Passion for Perfection. His exhibition Whistler to Cassatt: American Painters in France opens in Denver before traveling to the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.

NOTE: Capacity is limited to 200 people. RSVPs are required for both WAM members and the general public. Please make your reservation below.
If you are unable to attend in person, the lecture will be recorded and posted to WAM YouTube Channel:

Event Registration

Painting of a beach scene with a blue sky and clouds and a misty green sea with white caps and a tan beach with four human figures and a dog

James McNeill Whistler, The Sea, Pourville, 1899. Oil on panel, 5 1/4 x 9 3/8 inches. Terra Foundation for American Art, Chicago, Daniel J. Terra Collection, Photography © Terra Foundation for American Art

Event Details

Painting of a young woman in a long white dress and hat holding a brown dog on her lap while she sits on a porch with the river and cityscape behind her

Mary Cassatt, Young Girl at a Window, about 1883–84. Oil on canvas, 39 1/2 x 25 1/2. National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. Corcoran Collection, Museum Purchase, Gallery Fund

At the end of the 19th century, Paris was the artistic capital of the world. The city buzzed with art schools, private studios, galleries, and the annual Salon—then the premier venue in the global art world. Against this backdrop, American artists—seeking European training and access to prominent art dealers and collectors—sought out the City of Lights to advance their own careers.

In the words of curator Karl Kusserow, “Mary Cassatt is triply distinguished as among the greatest American artists, the greatest artists of the 19th century, and one of the finest female painters of the Western tradition.” Mother and Child showcases Mary Cassatt’s full genius. It combines her signature swirling brushwork, luminous color, and focus on intimate family life—a subject that she championed even as her male colleagues explored the urban Paris scenes. Mother and Child is also featured on the cover of the Denver Art Museum’s exhibition catalogue.

While discussing dazzling paintings by artists such as Cassatt, Whistler, Sargent, and others, Dr. Standring will untangle what he refers to as “the braided narrative of this lost chapter of American art history.” Why did many American artists turn to France for their training during the Age of Innocence between the American Civil War and the outbreak of the First World War? Why did some artists find life as expats preferable to returning stateside to seek their fame and fortune? And what was the reception back in the United States for American artists who had trained abroad in France?

Live Music With Bill Harshbarger

Photo of a man with white hair and short white beard holding a saxophone

Saxophone player Bill Harsbarger

Saxophonist Bill Harshbarger and Friends will play from from 5 to 6:45 pm in the S. Jim and Darla Farha Great Hall. His performance is part of the “Taste of Jazz” series supported by the Wichita Jazz Festival.

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