Intimate Impressionism at the McNay


McNay-Impressionism LogoClose your eyes and imagine a world without art.

Did your mind immediately picture something grey and colorless?

Did your emotions suddenly change to being more somber?

For most people, art is life.

And lucky for those of us that call San Antonio home, art can be found everywhere.

An art exhibit just opened in San Antonio that is anything but colorless.

Intimate Impressionism from the National Gallery of Art is visiting the McNay Art Museum until January 4, 2015.  San Antonio is one of only five cities in the world that will showcase this extraordinary collection of intimately scaled masterpieces. This exhibition is visiting Rome, Tokyo, San Francisco, Seattle and San Antonio. These works of art have never toured before and are only doing so while the National Gallery of Art in Washington D. C. goes through an extensive renovation. Rather than storing these paintings away for several years, we have a once in a lifetime opportunity to see them in person.

I was able to take a preview tour of the exhibit while accompanying Mary Morton, Curator and Head of the Department of French Paintings at the National Gallery of Art. As we moved from each area around the paintings,  she told those in attendance, “the Impressionist period is one of pleasure, these works are pleasure paintings.” 

It is comprised by almost 70 pieces that include the works of such artists as Renoir, Monet, Gauguin and van Gogh. The art is from the personal collections of Alisa Mellon Bruce and her brother Paul Mellon, both heirs of the Mellon banking family. This collection was purchased by them and occupied their homes for a time. The Mellons intended to share these treasures with the people of the United States. Their efforts in compiling this artwork on the behalf of the National Gallery of Art, assured the institution’s status of being the world’s leading repositories of French modernist painting.

And now, this extraordinary collection has made its way to San Antonio.

1985.64.20 Gauguin Self-Portrait Dedicated to CarriereAs I was seeing these paintings for the first time, I couldn’t get over the depth of the colors. They were all so bright and vivid and with such great detail for being so relatively small in size. The eyes in the Self Portrait of Paul Gauguin (pictured) seemed to see through my soul. I don’t know that I have ever experienced anything quite like it. This exhibit is something that I won’t soon forget, it brought me actual tears of joy!

The McNay has many ways in which you can enjoy the exhibit. From catered lunches, docent led tours, family activities, food truck fare, concerts and even private tours that include champagne; there is a unique way to relish in this exhibit.

San Antonio loves events and celebrations.  Why not gather your book clubs, girlfriends, bunco groups, and significant others to make this a memorable experience together?

I can’t imagine a better place to celebrate one another while basking in the glow of art overflowing with pleasure.

I am going to give away 2 sets of tickets for the exhibit so one of my Livin’ Sassy readers can experience the beauty that is the Intimate Impressionism  from the National Gallery of Art exhibit.

If you’ve been a reader for long, you know that I love nothing more than a good cry with my girlfriends! You need one too!

Simply comment on this post to enter with your favorite color! The sweepstakes random drawing will be on Sunday, September 14th.

If you don’t want to wait until then, go to the McNay Art Museum‘s website for more details on hours, events and tour information.


“I feel that there is nothing more truly artistic than to love people.” ~Vincent van Gogh


Stay Sassy Y’all. 



Courtesy Photo

Tickets are sponsored by Sassy because I love the arts in San Antonio so very much.






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  1. Norma Garza says:

    My favorite color is pink.

  2. Oh, I cannot wait to see this exhibit!

    My favorite color used to be blue but these days, a bright, brilliant orange is what makes me happiest. 😉

  3. Carrie Bond says:

    Purple! I can’t wait to see it!

  4. My favorite color is green!

  5. purple!

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