Not what you think. I’ve always wanted to visit the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg but not much else in Russia so that seems like a long way to go for a museum. Now I don’t have to go (or not anytime soon). The exhibit at the Foundation Vuitton was an amazing collection of art from the Hermitage. I learn something new almost every day, and this was one of those times that I said to myself, “how come I never heard of this man before”? Sergei Shchukin was one of the greatest collectors of French modern art very similar to Gertrude Stein and her family. The collection included Monet, Matisse, Picasso, Cezanne, Gauguin, Van Gogh and of course the important early 20th century Russians. Once Lenin nationalized the collection and Stalin asserted that art was “bourgeois” the collection was placed in public art collections at the Hermitage and Pushkin Gallery in Moscow.
This is the first time since the work was initially collected that it makes its appearance in France, where most of it was created and first exhibited. If you are a Matisse fan as I am hope you can imagine seeing so many of the most iconic works in one place so unexpectedly. We will be learning about all these artists this semester (unless you are in the ancient art class-sorry but more is coming for you in the next few days).
On a side note: The color on the outside of the museum is a temporary site specific work by Daniel Buren. If you want to see more of his work go to: