JUNE 9–SEPTEMBER 3, 2018
Photographer unknown, Louise Breslau, end of 1870s
Louise Breslau (Swiss, 1856–1927), The Friends, 1881. Oil on canvas, 33 1/2 x 63 in. © Musée d’Art et d’Histoire, Ville de Genève, inv. n° 1883-0002. Photo: Bettina Jacot-Descombes. Courtesy American Federation of Arts
Louise Breslau enrolled at the Académie Julian in 1878, where she distinguished herself as a talented portraitist. She debuted at the Salon in 1879, leaving the Académie shortly thereafter to open her own studio, where she supported herself through portrait commissions. She joined the Salon de la Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts in 1890, not only exhibiting her own work but also serving on the jury that determined what works would be shown. In 1901, she was awarded the Légion d’Honneur, the first foreign woman to receive that distinction.
A fully illustrated catalogue, Women Artists in Paris, 1850–1900, has been published by the American Federation of Arts and Yale University Press. Along with an art-historical overview by curator Laurence Madeline, the catalogue includes essays by Jane R. Becker, collections management associate, Metropolitan Museum of Art; Richard Kendall, former curator at large, Clark Art Institute; Bridget Alsdorf, associate professor, History of Art, Princeton University; and Vibeke Hansen, curator, Nasjonalmuseet, Oslo.