Misia: Muse, Model and Style-Setter for the Avant-Garde 1890-1930

Wednesday, May 8 at 11:30 a.m.

Coffee will be served at 11:00 a.m. The lecture begins at 11:30 a.m. 

Like all celebrities, Misia is known on first name basis, a simple one syllable belying her expansive and complicated life as the Polish-born bachelorette Godebeska, and then as Mme Natanson, Mme Edwards, Mme Jose-Marie Sert and as the off and on companion of Coco Chanel.  But she is much more appropriately memorialized not as spouse and partner but as muse and model, not only inspiring them through her intellect and encouragement but through her lifestyle—a continual open house that provided a haven for the intelligentsia in fin de siècle Paris. This lecture will look at Misia’s precocious and winner-take-all sense of chic and daring, but also her kittenish smile and disarming warmth, that made her so appealing to artists ranging from Renoir to Bonnard, Vuillard and Toulouse-Lautrec, as well as writers, musicians, dancers and modern impresarios like Diaghilev.  

Gloria Groom is currently Chair of European Painting and Sculpture and the David and Mary Winton Green Curator at The Art Institute of Chicago.

An internationally acclaimed scholar and author on 19th Century French painting, she joined the Art Institute in 1985. Since then, she has been involved in major monographic exhibitions and catalogues including Gauguin, Odilon Redon, Caillebotte, Renoir, Manet, Seurat, Toulouse-Lautrec, and thematic exhibitions such as Beyond the Easel: Decorative Paintings of Bonnard, Denis, Roussel and Vuillard, the art dealer Ambroise Vollard (2008), Impressionism, Fashion and Modernity (2012-2013), Van Gogh’s Bedrooms (2016) and Gauguin: Artist as Alchemist (2017). Her current exhibition Manet and Modern Beauty devoted to the little known paintings, pastels, and watercolors of the artist’s last years, opens at the Art Institute this May and travels to the J.Paul Getty Museum, Santa Monica. 

The Symposium on the Arts of France is not only a museum quality lecture program at the Alliance, it provides funding for our Cultural, Educational and Outreach programming each year.

Opportunities are still available for Grand Patron and Patron sponsorships. Please call Conery Hoffman at 312 337-1070 for more information on sponsorship benefits.