Speed Art Museum’s ‘Impressionist Landscapes’ exhibit

| March 30, 2011
Speed Art Museum

Photo by Sarah Lyon

I first realized my love of art at the ripe age of 7 when I started painting – my fingernails that is. And while I thought staying in the lines and adding a top coat was a masterpiece, it was soon brought to my attention that OPI does not manufacture oil pastels, and I have since changed my definition of “masterpiece.”

For anyone who might share my previously misunderstood sentiment for art, the Speed Art Museum is the perfect place to become reacquainted or re-educated with timeless classics and the masters who created them.

The current exhibition “Impressionist Landscapes: Monet to Sargent,” which will be on display through May 22, houses the finest examples of mid-19th through early-20th century French and American landscapes displayed in more than 70 impressionistic paintings. With pieces from the  Brooklyn Museum of New York and Kentucky’s own noted works, the exhibition offers an in-depth look at leading French artists such as Gustave Courbet and Claude Monet.

Thankfully my skill level does not match my appreciation for period art, and I knew exactly who those groundbreaking artists were. Impressionist artists captured the essence of landscapes and sparked an artistic revolution that is still unsurpassed today.

Typically, I stay strong to the buddy system and rarely enjoy going places solo. However, as I strolled through the galleries, I completely forgot I had arrived sans accomplice. This was the perfect place to steal away a little “me” time. And while gossiping is considered an art form to some, I turned up my iPod and let the likes of Monet, Seurat and Pisarro replace my usual gossip fest.

While the afternoon was spent both surrounded by beauty and awe, it was also a learning experience that sure beat art history 101. And let me tell you – I had a ball.

Admission to “Impressionist Landscapes: Monet to Sargent” is $5 for museum members, $10 for non-members.

The Speed Museum is located at 2035 S. Third St. Museum hours are Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Friday 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Sunday noon to 5 p.m. and closed on Monday and Tuesday.

“The Islets at Port-Villez” by Claude Monet.

“The Islets at Port-Villez” by Claude Monet.

“Early Spring Afternoon, Central Park” by Willlard Leroy Metcalf.

“Early Spring Afternoon, Central Park” by Willlard Leroy Metcalf.

“On the Heights “ by Charles Courtney Curran.

“On the Heights “ by Charles Courtney Curran.


Classical in nature and progressive in movement, the Speed Art Museum is the perfect backdrop for these timeless landscapes.


While members receive special rates, a public parking garage is conveniently located adjacent to the museum. No coins needed. $2 per hour/$6 maximum charge.

MUST SEE exhibit

New to the Speed’s collection, and making its debut is Alfred Sisley’s 1879 painting “Hilly Path, Ville d’Avray.”

Interesting Arcana

Be the Speed’s guest on “Free Friday Night at the Museum” 5 to 9 p.m. Friday, April 1. Enjoy free admission to the museum’s permanent collection and the award-winning Art Sparks Interactive Family gallery on the First Friday of the month.

photos courtesy of SPEED ART MUSEUM

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Category: Out & About

About the Author (Author Profile)

Lauren DePaso
Voice-Tribune Staff Writer Lauren DePaso enjoys being a tourist in her own city, exploring the nightlife and cheering on the Cards. A Louisville native, she currently resides in St. Matthews.

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