Cummer Resources

The Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens is committed to engage and inspire through the arts, gardens and education. A permanent collection of nearly 5,000 works of art on a riverfront campus offers more than 95,000 annual visitors a truly unique experience on the First Coast. Nationally recognized education programs serve adults and children of all abilities.

Art »
Upcoming Exhibitions
Past Exhibitions
European Collection
American Collection
Meissen Porcelain Collection
Antiquities
Special Collections
Gardens »
Upper Garden
English Garden
Olmsted Garden
Italian Garden
Season Highlights
Garden Ornaments
Education »
Art Connections
Classes
Tours
Programs
For Teachers
For Kids
Docents
Get Involved »
Join the Cummer
Benefits and Levels
Membership Groups
Our Partners
Make A Donation
Volunteer Opportunities
Internships
Employment

#5WomenArtists – Pauline Vallayer-Moutet

Mar

14

Can you name 5 women artists? It turns out, most people can’t. This simple question calls attention to the inequity women artists face, inspires conversation, and brings awareness to a larger audience. As a part of the #5WomenArtists initiative through the National Museum of Women in the Arts and in celebration of Women’s History Month, we will be highlighting women artists in the Cummer Collection. Museum founder Ninah Cummer was a supporter of women artists. Each of the artists we are highlighting this month will be from the original 60 pieces of artwork donated by Ninah Cummer, that are the foundation of our collection. To learn more about women artists, follow the National Museum of Women in the Arts on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, or follow #5WomenArtists. This post is the second of five that will be published this month as part of our #5WomenArtists series.

Pauline Vallayer-Moutet (French, 19th-20th century)

In a 1950 letter to London based art dealer Paul Wengraf, from whom she often purchased artworks, Mrs. Cummer decribes where she has hung some of her paintings:

“In my library are some of my dearest things […] On the right of this picture [1] is a painting of a French interior by Pauline Vallayer-Moutet[2]. The subject portrays two maids polishing the brasses, as only the French can do, and the strong light from a window, such as Vermeer would use in his pictures, streams into the room. And this, by the way, was my first investment in painting (the Paul King picture having been earlier acquired as a gift), and was purchased about 1905, nearly fifty years ago.”

To compare Vallayer-Moutet’s approach to that of the great Johannes Vermeer (1632 – 1675) speaks to how much Mrs. Cummer admired the French artist. The fact that French Interior (Two Girls Polishing Brass) was the first painting she purchased adds to our understanding of Mrs. Cummer as a collector.

Little is known about Vallayer-Moutet, who was a pupil of French artists Jules Joseph Lefebvre (1836 – 1912), Tony Robert-Fleury (1837 – 1911), and Jean-Paul Laurens (1838 – 1921). In 1900, she won the bronze medal at the Exposition Universelle (World Fair) in Paris and that same year became a member of the Association des artistes peintres, sculpteurs, architectes, graveurs et dessinateurs (Association of painters, sculptors, architects, printmakers and draftsmen). Her teacher, Robert-Fleury, was actually the President of the Association from 1908 to 1911, and famous painter William Adolphe Bouguereau — whose work is represented in the Museum’s permanent collection —served as President for 20 years (from 1885 to 1905).

Vallayer-Moutet often depicts scenes of domestic labor that focus on female protagonists such as maids or seamstresses. Her work was well received during her lifetime, and earned honors and prizes at numerous Salon, the most sought after art exhibition in Paris.

[1] Paul King (American, 1867 – 1947), Along the Strand, c. 1905, oil on canvas, 32 x 40 in., Bequest of Ninah M. H. Cummer, C.0.160.1.

[2] Pauline Vallayer-Moutet (French, 19-20th century), French Interior (Two Girls Polishing Brass), 19th century, oil on canvas, 25 ¾ x 21 ¼ in., Bequest of Ninah M. H. Cummer, C.0.159.1.

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Post Author

This post was written by who has written 5 posts on The Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens.

Curator

Comments are closed.