FAMSF Blog

New Acquisition on View: The Absinthe Drinkers by Jean-François Raffaëlli

Visitors to the exhibition Birth of Impressionism: Masterpieces from the Musée d'Orsay can get a look at one of the Fine Arts Museum's newest acquisitions, The Absinthe Drinkers (Les buveurs d'absinthe), 1881, by Jean-François Raffaëlli (French, 1850–1924). The Absinthe Drinkers is widely regarded as among Raffaëlli's most important and accomplished paintings. It can be viewed at the entrance to Birth of Impressionism this summer, but will eventually take up permanent residence in the Legion of Honor's gallery 19.

Although not counted among the Impressionists, the Realist Raffaëlli nonetheless exhibited The Absinthe Drinkers (at the invitation of Degas, who sought to increase the number of figural painters involved) at the sixth Impressionist group show in 1881.There it caused a sensation due to its gritty imagery and portrayal of the devastating effects of addiction to the potent drink absinthe.

The Absinthe Drinkers, 1881
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Introduction of Jeanine Briggs' "Transfigurations", July 2010 Artist-in-Residence by Gregory Stock, Education Intern

Walking into the Kimball Education gallery this month, a visitor might experience a childhood flashback of placing collector cards in the wheel spokes of your first bike, or scenes from Pixar’s recent film, WALL-E. In Jeanine Briggs' Transfigurations, the artist-in-residence incorporates trash and found materials in a variety of forms including small characters, masks, and full body representations.

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"Inside the World of Michael Horse, June Artist-in-Residence" by Naomi Huth, Education Intern

On June 18th, during the Cultural Encounters evening event, I sat down with current artist-in-residence, Michael Horse, to find out more about his background and artistic influences. Born near Tucson, Horse is of Yaqui, Mescalero Apache, Zuni, European, and Hispanic descent and comes from an artistically talented family of jewelers, potters, and painters. Not only is he a talented jeweler and painter, but he is also an actor and stuntman who has appeared in many movies including Twin Peaks, Passenger 57, Lakota Woman, and Smoke Signals.

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Celebrating the Longevity of a FAMSF Employee

Frances Escobar will be retiring this month after 25 years of proud service in the accounting department at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. Escobar moved to San Francisco in 1957 from Seattle, Washington where she lived and studied for two years after moving to the United States from Tokyo, Japan. She started her career in accounting at Foremost (McKesson). Escobar is a lover of music and a longtime performer with the Ina Chalis Opera Ensemble.

We would like to thank Frances for her service. She will be truly missed. We hope to see her around the de Young and Legion of Honor for years to come.

Frances Escobar
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"Over and Out Past the Lines" - June 2010 Artists-in-residence

We would like to introduce June's Artists-in-Residence at the Kimball Education Gallery at the de Young Museum, Kim Shuck and Michael Horse. Below you will find some pictures highlighting the installation of "Over and Out Past the Lines" and Ms. Shuck's first entry regarding the process.

We are delighted to have Native artists inhabit the gallery for this month and look forward to sharing with the public many different experiences of Native art. Artists are on site Wednesday–Sunday, 1–5 pm (until 8:45 pm on Fridays in June). Admission into the Kimball Education Gallery is free of charge.

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John Buchanan and Guy Cogeval Discuss Birth of Impressionism on Forum

Yesterday morning FAMSF director John Buchanan and Musée d'Orsay president Guy Cogeval discussed the exhibition Birth of Impressionism: Masterpieces from the Musée d'Orsay, which opens at the de Young Museum tomorrow, May 22, 2010.

In case you missed what some commenters are calling "the best Forum episode ever", you can stil listen online. In fact, we've embedded it in this very blog post! You can access it after the jump.

Birth of Impressionism runs through September 6, 2010. Later on that month, the de Young will host a follow-up show, Van Gogh, Gaugin, Cézanne and Beyond: Post-Impressionist Masterpieces from the Musée d'Orsay. That exhibition opens September 26 and runs through January 18, 2010.

John Buchanan and Guy Cogeval
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