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James Tissot: Fashion and Faith Closing Weekend Symposium

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James Tissot, "Painters and Their Wives" (detail), ca. 1883–1885

James Tissot, "Painters and Their Wives" (detail), ca. 1883–1885. Oil on canvas, 57 1/2 x 40 in. (146.1 x 101.6 cm). Chrysler Museum of Art, Norfolk, Virginia, Gift of Walter P. Chrysler, Jr., and The Grandy Fund, Landmark Communications Fund, and “An Affair to Remember” 1982, 81.153. Courtesy of the Chrysler Museum of Art, Norfolk, Virginia

John A. and Cynthia Fry Gunn Theater

Bringing together a distinguished group of international museum curators and scholars, join us at our 2-day symposium to celebrate the closing weekend of the exhibition, James Tissot: Fashion and Faith. Papers presented in part 2 of the symposium on Sunday, February 9 focus on the theme of faith, and papers in part 1 Saturday, February 8 discuss topics related to the theme of fashion in Tissot's career.

This symposium is made possible through generous support from the Lillian Goldman Charitable Trust and the Amy P. Goldman Foundation.

Part 2 Schedule:

10:30 am — Solving the mysteries of Kathleen Newton's life: New findings and facts: Krystyna Matyjaszkiewicz, Independent Curator and Art Historian                       
11 am — Scientists and Spiritualists Imaging Ghosts at the fin de siècle: Serena Keshavjee, Professor of Art and Cultural Studies, University of Winnipeg
11:30 am — Break
noon — Tissot‘s travelogue from the Holy Land: Paul Perrin, paintings curator at the Musée d'Orsay, Paris
12:30 pm — James Tissot: The Afterlife of an Exhibition: Melissa Buron, Director, Art Division, Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco
1 pm — Break
2:30 pm — James Tissot: The Ambiguous Figure of Modernity; film screening 
The symposium will conclude with the U.S. premiere of a documentary film about James Tissot's fascinating life and career. The film explores how Tissot's work is being rediscovered in the present day: three hundred paintings produced over four decades of activity, hundreds of etchings, dry-points, engravings, sculptures, cloisonné enamels, caricatures, and illustrations. Featuring interviews with experts on the artist and the period in which he lived, as well as unprecedented access to private locations in France, it reveals the artist's unique style and range of techniques and the attention to detail that make James Tissot such an astonishing chronicle of his times, and “The Ambiguous Figure of Modernity.” 


Krystyna Matyjaszkiewicz is an independent art historian and curator. She is a leading expert on the life, work, and milieu of James Tissot. In 1984, as Assistant Curator at the Barbican Art Gallery, London, she organized the major Tissot retrospective that toured to Manchester and Paris. Publications include entries for the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography on James Tissot (2011) and contributions to James Tissot (2019). Current work includes the development of an exhibition centered on Thomas Becket and pilgrimage for The Beaney, Canterbury (2020). 

Serena Keshavjee coordinates the Curatorial Practices specialization of the Masters in Cultural Studies while teaching Modern Art and Architectural History at the University of Winnipeg. Her academic publishing focuses on the intersection of art and science in visual culture at the fin-de-siécle. Her chapter, “The Scientization of Spirituality” was published in Seductive Surfaces: The Art of Tissot (1999). Keshavjee’s current research project is a monograph and exhibition on a Canadian medical doctor who studied and photographed ectoplasm for 15 years in order to prove that life existed beyond death.

Paul Perrin is a graduate of the école du Louvre et de l'Institut National du Patrimoine. He has been a curator of paintings at the Musée d'Orsay since 2014, where he has curated several exhibitions including "Frédéric Bazille and the Birth of Impressionism" (Musée d' Orsay, National Gallery of Art, Washington, 2016–2017), "Spectacular Second Empire" (Musée d'Orsay, 2016), and he is also co-curator of the "James Tissot" exhibition (SF, Paris, 2019–2020).

Melissa E. Buron is director of the art division at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco where she has been a curator since 2008. She graduated magna cum laude from Brown University, where she earned a BA with honors in art history. She also holds an MA with distinction in art history from the University of London, Birkbeck College, where she is currently enrolled as a Ph.D. candidate. Her curatorial contributions have supported more than twenty special exhibitions on subjects from the fifteenth to the nineteenth centuries. She recently organized Truth and Beauty: The Pre-Raphaelites and the Old Masters (2018) and James Tissot: Fashion & Faith (2019).

Ticket Information

Free after General Admission. The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco offers free general admission every Saturday for all residents of the nine Bay Area counties.

Free tickets to the symposium will be distributed an hour prior to the first lecture. Seating is limited.

Contact Information

Public Programs
(415) 750-7624