© Fondation Louis Vuitton
The Fondation Louis Vuitton inaugurated The Morozov Collection, a new blockbuster exhibition featuring over 200 masterpieces by 47 Russian and European artists. The exhibition, which runs until February 22, 2022, presents one of the world’s largest collections of Impressionist and modern art and is being shown for the first time outside Russia since its creation at the beginning of the 20th century.
Curated by Anne Baldassari, this second chapter in the Icons of Modern Art cycle has been organized at the Fondation Louis Vuitton in partnership with the State Hermitage Museum (Saint Petersburg), the Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts (Moscow) and the State Tretyakov Gallery (Moscow). It follows the hugely successful exhibition of the collection assembled by another Russian art lover, Sergei Shchukin, a contemporary and friend of the Morozov brothers. This exhibition cycle retraces the stories of these remarkable industrialists and philanthropists and offers insights into the compelling “art of collecting” that spurred them to become pioneering patrons of modern art.
The exhibition opens with Anna Golubkina’s The Wave [The Sea of Human Life]. The symbolism and art nouveau aesthetic of the sculpture evokes the movement that revolutionized Moscow’s arts scene during the “Silver Age” (1890-1910). It then unfolds through thirteen galleries that display major works by Manet, Cézanne, Gauguin and others, including Russian avant-garde artists such as Vrubel, Malevitch and Larionov. The Music Salon in Ivan Morozov’s mansion in Moscow is a monumental decorative ensemble comprising 13 panels commissioned from Maurice Denis around the theme L’Histoire de Psyché, along with four sculptures by Aristide Maillol. The works are being displayed in their entirety for the first time outside the Hermitage with a special scenography to culminate the Morozov Collection show at the Fondation Louis Vuitton.
To fete the inauguration of the exhibition, two exceptional concerts took place on Monday and Tuesday September 20 and 21, featuring the Mariinsky Orchestra of Saint Petersburg, conducted by Valery Gergiev.
Ivan and Mikhail Morozov were gifted entrepreneurs and members of a circle of Muscovite patrons of the arts and philanthropists who befriended the artists they collected, pursuing a passion for the most avant-garde artworks. After discovering the groundbreaking modernist art in the emerging Paris scene they built up a collection of nearly 300 paintings and sculptures. Their collection was subsequently seized, nationalized and broken up by the Bolshevik regime in 1918. The collection risked disappearing altogether until it was divided in the 1930s among the Hermitage Museum, the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts and the Tretyakov Gallery.
The LVMH Group was instrumental in the organization of the Morozov exhibition in 2019 in Saint Petersburg, providing support for the State Hermitage Museum. In addition, the Group has contributed support for Hermitage’s heritage project to reconstitute the Music Salon of Ivan Morozov’s mansion as part of its permanent collection.
As part of its commitment to serving the public interest, the Fondation Louis Vuitton has since 2014 worked to ensure broad access to art and culture. To promote artistic creation in France and around the world, the Foundation organizes temporary exhibitions of modern and contemporary art, displays works from its collection, commissions works from artists and hosts a variety of cross-disciplinary events.