One of the biggest events of fall in the Raleigh area is perfect for appreciators of iconic art! A special new exhibition at the North Carolina Museum of Art (NCMA), Alphonse Mucha: Art Nouveau Visionary, opens Oct. 23, 2021, and will be on view through Jan. 23, 2022.

Czech-born Alphonse Mucha (1860–1939) was one of the most influential and celebrated artists in turn-of-the-20th-century Paris. Today, his artwork still inspires art lovers and draws new admirers from across the globe. He is best known for his graphic work, such as theater posters for superstar actress Sarah Bernhardt and decorative panels and advertisements featuring graceful women. Mucha created a distinctive approach characterized by harmonious compositions, sinuous forms, organic lines and muted colors, which became synonymous with the highly popular decorative style called art nouveau.

Alphonse Mucha

Left: Alphonse Mucha, Moravian Teachers’ Choir, 1911, color lithograph, 42 1/2 × 30 5/16 in., Mucha Trust Collection, © 2021 Mucha Trust; Right: Alphonse Mucha, Cycles Perfecta, 1902, color lithograph, 60 7/8 × 41 1/16 in., Mucha Trust Collection, © 2021 Mucha Trust

Despite the powerful impact of Mucha’s style, his ideas behind its development are less well known. Alphonse Mucha: Art Nouveau Visionary draws on the latest research to examine the theoretical aspects of his style, which evolved as a language for communication with the wider public. The exhibition features some 100 objects from the Mucha Trust collection, including rarely seen works from the artist’s family. It also delves into Mucha’s contributions to the art nouveau style and how he later used his visual language to express his vision for an independent Czechoslovak nation.

The international scope of Mucha’s aesthetic, influences and impact are elaborated upon in the exhibition and accompanying catalogue. What’s more, new research is revealed regarding the relationship between works from the North Carolina Museum of Art collection and Mucha’s art and times.

Alphonse Mucha

Left: Alphonse Mucha, Moët & Chandon: Crémant Imperial (Crémant Impérial), 1899, color lithograph, 23 5/8 × 7 7/8 in., Mucha Trust Collection, © 2021 Mucha Trust; Middle: Alphonse Mucha, The Precious Stones: Amethyst, 1900, color lithograph, 26 7/16 × 11 13/16 in., Mucha Trust Collection, © 2021 Mucha Trust; Right: Alphonse Mucha, Nestlé’s Food for Infants, 1897, color lithograph, 28 3/8 × 13 9/16 in., Mucha Trust Collection, © 2021 Mucha Trust

The Mucha exhibit is part of a series of exciting fall 2021 exhibitions at NCMA highlighting artists from both around the world and around the state. Other exhibits include Break the Mold: New Takes on Traditional Art Making (through Feb. 6) which focuses on the influence of craft on artists working nationally and globally. It features world-renowned artists like Gabriel de la Mora, Yasumasa Morimura, Shinique Smith, Hank Willis Thomas and more. In N.C. Artist Connections (through Feb. 13), three gifted North Carolina–based artists will enter into a dialogue with the NCMA’s collection, presenting work that speaks directly to the Museum’s works of art.

 

“This fall the North Carolina Museum of Art is pleased to present a series of exhibitions that span the 19th to the 21st centuries and offer insight into art made in different parts of the world,” says Valerie Hillings, museum director. “Our fall season features internationally beloved and recognized work by Alphonse Mucha alongside local, national and international contemporary artists who explore a range of techniques and social and cultural histories.” 

Alphonse Mucha: Art Nouveau Visionary will be open Wed.-Sun., 10am-5pm. Timed entry tickets are now on sale, starting at $23.60 for non-member adults.

For accessibility and inclusion information related to visiting the museum, visit this page

 

Header image: Alphonse Mucha, Daydream (Rêverie), 1897, color lithograph, 28 5/8 × 21 3/4 in., Mucha Trust Collection, © 2021 Mucha Trust

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