Past Exhibitions
Gerald Murphy, Bibliothèque (Library), 1926. Oil on canvas. Yale University Art Gallery, Purchased with a gift from Alice Kaplan in memory of Allan S. Kaplan, B.A. 1957, and with the Leonard C. Hanna, Jr., Class of 1913, Fund. © Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY

Making It New: The Art and Style of Sara and Gerald Murphy

  • July 8, 2007–November 11, 2007
    Williams College Museum of Art, Williamstown, Mass.
  • February 26, 2008–May 4, 2008
    Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Conn.
  • June 1, 2008–September 14, 2008
    Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas, TX
Sara and Gerald Murphy are best remembered as the captivating American expatriates who inspired F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Tender Is the Night. This exhibition, organized by the Williams College Museum of Art, is the first to explore the couple’s relationships with some of the pivotal figures in avant-garde circles in Paris in the 1920s. Their legendary style—modern in its apparent simplicity and freedom from stifling social regimentation—was a touchstone for many artists, writers, and musicians of the period, among them their friends Fitzgerald, Fernand Léger, Pablo Picasso, Cole Porter, Ernest Hemingway, Serge Diaghilev, and Jean Cocteau. Gerald Murphy himself was a brilliant and inventive painter. Regrettably, only seven of his canvases survive. They are brought together here for the first time, along with paintings, watercolors, drawings, and photographs by artists within his circle, such as Georges Braque, Juan Gris, Léger, and Picasso. Photographs and home-movie footage of the Murphys and their friends, as well as personal correspondence and artifacts, also help bring the era to life.
Exhibition organized by the Williams College Museum of Art. Presentation at the Yale University Art Gallery organized by Helen A. Cooper, the Holcombe T. Green Curator of American Paintings and Sculpture, Yale University Art Gallery. Made possible in part by the National Endowment for the Humanities: great ideas brought to life; the Terra Foundation for American Art; the Getty Foundation; and the Dedalus Foundation, Inc. Presentation at the Yale University Art Gallery made possible by John, LG 1975, and Barbara Robinson, of the Widgeon Point Charitable Foundation; Anna Marie and Robert F. Shapiro, B.A 1956; the Eugénie Prendergast Fund for American Art, given by Jan and Warren Adelson; and the Friends of American Arts Exhibition Fund.

Selected Exhibition Objects

Composition No. VII
Les Trois Baigneuses, I (The Three Bathers, I)
Bibliothèque (Library)
Nature morte (Still Life)

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