By the time this work was painted in 1897, middle- to upper-class European women’s lives had begun to radically change. Nowhere was this truer than in Paris, the city that was the center for modern ideas, art, culture, and literature. No longer largely confined to the home, women worked in offices and shops or achieved the right to attend university or college. Imagery of the so-called “New Woman”—a term coined by Irish writer Sarah Grand but popularized by American writer Henry James—was evident in Art Nouveau advertising posters visible throughout the city. These new roles also involved changes in activity and dress. Women sought freedom from tight, corseted dresses and instead embraced looser, free-flowing gowns, like the ones worn by the women in this painting. Actively involved in a leisurely pursuit of collecting flowers from blossoming trees, the women also display a carefree and relaxed attitude, reveling in their freedom.
Exhibited in the Paris Salon of 1897, Albert-Émile Artigue’s Spring Flowers was an instant success with both the press and the public. It was so popular that it was reproduced as a print, which many could afford to buy and keep as a souvenir. Artigue was born in Buenos Aires, the son of French parents. His father was Federico Artigue, a painter and photographer. By 15, the younger Artigue was living in France, where he would begin his studies at the École Régionale des Beaux-Arts in Bordeaux. He would complete his training in Paris, and most importantly, study with Alexandre Cabanel. His paintings predominantly featured women of the belle époque, themes of which continued in his engravings, lithographs, and posters.
Argentinian, 1850–1927, Spring Flowers, 19th century. Oil on panel, 39 x 51 inches. Gift of Randolph P. Piper in memory and honor of all the girls and women in his life, 2019.88
|Harvey K. Littleton, American, 1922 - 2013. Sliced Form, 1987. Blown and drawn glass, cut
and polished. 251/2 × 6 × 3 inches. Museum purchase with funds donated by Jack and Stephanie A. Neal, 2019.1||Albert G. Richards, American, 1917–2008. Iris - German, ca. 1990–2000. Radiograph on paper. 14 × 11 inches. Gift of Dr. Seymour and Barbara K. Adelson, 2019.2|
|Albert G. Richards, American, 1917–2008. Jack in the Pulpit, 1996. Radiograph on paper. 14 × 11 inches. Gift of Dr. Seymour and Barbara K. Adelson, 2019.3||Albert G. Richards, American, 1917–2008. Lily - Solar, 1996. Radiograph on paper. 14 × 11 inches. Gift of Dr. Seymour and Barbara K. Adelson, 2019.4|
|Luba people, Democratic Republic of Congo. Comb, n.d. Wood. 8 inches. Gift of Dr. Robert Horn, 2019.5||Songye peoples, Democratic Republic of Congo. Kifwebe Mask, n.d. Wood 131/2 inches Gift of Dr. Robert Horn, 2019.6|
|Zulu peoples, South Africa Spoon, n.d. Wood 171/8 inches Gift of Dr. Robert Horn, 2019.7||Kwere Peoples, Tanzania. Nganga’s Healing Gourd, n.d. Gourd, rope, wood. 73/4 inches. Gift of Marlene and Reynold Kerr, 2019.8|
|Kwere Peoples, Tanzania Maternity Figure, n.d. Wood 241/2 inches Gift of Marlene and Reynold Kerr, 2019.9||Shepard Fairey, American, born 1970. Flint Eye Alert Globe, 2017. Screenprint on paper. 24 × 18 inches. Gift of Elisabeth Saab and Chad Hansen, 2019.10|
|Abraham Anghik Ruben, Canadian, born 1951 Bear, 2006 Soapstone 23/4 inches Gift of Samantha and Kerstin in memory of their beloved uncle, Thomas Calhoun, 2019.11||Dee Knott, American, 1943–2013. Untitled (shipwreck), n.d. Watercolor on paper. 8 × 12 inches. Anonymous gift 2019.12|
|Desiree Kelly, American. Shields, n.d. Oil and spray paint on traffic sign. 35 × 35 inches. Museum purchase with funds from the Collection Endowment, 2019.13|