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Encore Degas! Ballet, Fashion and Movement
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For the first time in almost ten years, French painter Edgar Degas’s pastel, Rehearsal of the Ballet, will be on view!

Dance captivated Degas. It became his subject from the age of 39 through the remainder of his life. “People call me the painter of dancing girls,” he told Paris art dealer Ambrose Vollard. “It has never occurred to them that my chief interest in dancers lies in rendering movement and painting pretty clothes.” The type of dance and costume, however, were in the process of radically shifting at the end of the 1800s as ballet evolved from its classical roots to a modern international art form. Degas and his artistic contemporaries were there to interpret and record this modern art form in a variety of facets.

Some artists, like Degas and Auguste Rodin, depicted dancers as models, rendering their movements and innovative costumes. Others, including Jean-Louis Forain and Dame Laura Knight, studied dancers as entertainers who served both public and private audiences, illustrating intimate moments between productions. Works by these artists, and more featured in this focus exhibition reveal the creative world behind the public spectacle.

Organized by The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art

Banner Image:
Edgar Degas (French, 1834-1917), Rehearsal of the Ballet, ca. 1876, Gouache and pastel over monotype on laid paper, plate: 22 ¼ x 27 ½ inches (56.52 x 69.85 cm), Sheet: 23 13/16 x 293/16 inches (60.48 x 74.2 cm), Purchase: the Kenneth A. and Helen F Spencer Foundation Acquisition Fund, F73-30

Jean-Louis Forain (French, 1852–1931), Portrait Sketch of the Head of a Young Girl, and Dancer, late 1880s, Sepia and chalk on tan paper, Overall: 12 x 9 in. (30.48 x 22.86 cm) Gift of Mrs. Bertha E. Glasner in memory of Bertha Dick Glasner, 43-9