From September 19, 2012 until January 9, 2013, the Musée du Luxembourg is bringing together a « Circle of Modern Art » that will showcase the impressive offerings of a group of art collectors based in Le Havre.
With their unique point of view, these collectors amassed many paintings originating from the early 20th century in Le Havre. It was at this time that several private collectors decided to form the Cercle de l’Art (Circle of Art) with the goal of promoting art in that city. The Cercle de l’Art was established in 1906 by Emile Othon, Georges Braque and Charles-Auguste Marande, among others. These collectors put their collections together in order to display them to the public.
In the years following its establishment, the Cercle de l’Art organized conferences, concerts and exhibitions, with the support of great masters such as Apollinaire and Debussy.
The Cercle was characterized by a passion for modern art, especially fauvism, as opposed to impressionism. That did not prevent this group, however, from also presenting impressionist exhibitions. With each private collection representing singularities that served to complement the other collections that made up the group, the Cercle de l’Art displayed a full panorama of the artistic scene of the time.
Although the Cercle became less active as time went on, towards the latter half of the 20th century, a new wave of collectors began to make names for themselves on the art scene.
Now, the paintings of these avant-garde collectors — both the original collectors and the newer generations — are being presented in an exhibition called « The Modern Art Club » at the Musée du Luxembourg. The exhibit displays around 90 paintings that reveal not only the modern art scene of the 20th century but also the personal tastes and opinions of the collectors themselves. Guests staying at the Hotel Louvre Marsollier can therefore discover the art scene of Le Havre by taking a trip to the museum, located not very far away from their rooms.