Major Renoir exhibition being planned for 2023

PAINTINGS worth millions by artists such as Renoir, Monet and Gauguin are set to come to Guernsey in 2023.

World-famous paintings are coming to Guernsey with a 2023 Renoir exhibition organised by Art for Guernsey in partnership with the Museum of Impressionism Giverny. (29997982)
World-famous paintings are coming to Guernsey with a 2023 Renoir exhibition organised by Art for Guernsey in partnership with the Museum of Impressionism Giverny. (29997982)

Organisers expect the exhibition to be a significant international tourism draw and to have wider spin-off benefits.

Artwork by Bazille, Courbet and Denis will also be included in the exhibition, which is being organised by Art for Guernsey in partnership with Museum of Impressionism Giverny in France, and will be held in 2023.

It includes one Renoir painting owned by a local group of art collectors. The exhibition would be a huge opportunity for Guernsey to showcase itself globally, attracting more visitors and positive headlines, said Art for Guernsey founder David Ummels.

‘We listened to the hospitality industry who told us: “In a good season, in the summer Guernsey is fully booked anyway. So can you guys try to prolong the season and hold this in autumn 2023 so we benefit from it?”

‘This exhibition is, for me, more than just curating assets.’

He pointed to national coverage of the Moulin Huet Renoir walk as a successful example of using art as an economic enabler, while collaborating with museums globally for the 2023 exhibition could leverage social media reach far beyond local shores – with Art for Guernsey itself already having 31,000 followers on Facebook.

It would reconnect islanders with their cultural heritage, Mr Ummels added.

‘We will run, around the main events, different satellite activities, especially Moulin Huet. When Renoir came to Moulin Huet [in 1883], he discovered this wonderful site.’

Mr Ummels yesterday revealed further details of the exhibition during a breakfast business event organised by the Institute of Directors Guernsey branch.

He said the exhibition was taking place because of a friendship with Cyrille Sciama, head of the Museum of Impressionism Giverny in France – an extension of the world-famous Musee d’Orsay in Paris – developed when discussing inspirational wider events planned alongside the exhibition.

‘The structure of the exhibition will be first in Giverny museum during the summer months and it will come here in the autumn,’ said Mr Ummels.

He also explained why the exhibition would include artwork beyond paintings by Renoir – celebrating both the far-reaching impact on Renoir of his visit to Guernsey, and comparing differences with the other artists featured.

‘There are a few Monets that will be there. There’s the portrait of Renoir by Bazille and there’s a Gauguin. The reason why we show them is because there will be a bit of time verticality pre and post Renoir visiting Guernsey,’ said Mr Ummels.

‘If you look at the list of artworks that we intend to display, you will see Musee d’Orsay, Boston, Metropolitan Museum in New York, the National Gallery, etc.’

Art for Guernsey would be teaming up with Guernsey Museums to put on the exhibition, he said, with assistance also coming from the wider community.

Art for Guernsey is working key partners, such as Guernsey Arts, Guernsey Arts Society, Visit Guernsey, Condor Ferries and Aurigny to facilitate the transport of visitors and maximise opportunities to open new connections.

Mr Ummels said he was also confident that the States would support the project with goodwill and contributions in kind, with civil servants and teachers being good partners – with the government brought to a point where it would be ‘high-fiving’ Art for Guernsey in 2023, he said.

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