Columbia Museum of Art premieres Henri Matisse exhibit

By Karamie Sullivan 

Art lovers will soon have the opportunity to view a collection of work by European artist Henri Matisse beginning Friday at the Columbia Museum of Art.

Matisse’s work will be at the museum from Sept. 15 to Jan. 15.

Henri Matisse: Jazz & Poetry on Paper, features 80 framed illustrations in four different rooms of the museum. The works have been provided by the Bank of America art collection. The bank is able to help generate revenue for cultural venues by lending out their artwork at no cost. This is the second time the bank has provided artwork to the museum in Columbia.

Curator Catherine Walworth said she is excited about the exhibit. She said when the museum first got the pieces, it was an emotional experience. “When the works arrived, it felt like it became a church in here. It was just so overpowering to see the works themselves,” she said. Walworth believes that Matisse was a “master of many skills,” and hopes people will be able to grasp his intellectual ability, combined with his creativity, while observing the pieces.

There are four books with illustrations being displayed in each of the four rooms. To complement the works, the exhibition includes relevant objects from the CMA collection, including Greek vessels, pages from a medieval book, and a 19th century bronze. In the final room, which is devoted to jazz, there will be soft, thematic music from the World War II time period.

This exhibit allows visitors a chance to get to know Matisse artist through observing the way he “re-imagined” traditional art and literary forms. Walworth said she wants viewers to submerge themselves not just into the exhibit, but also the time period it came from, “What I wanted to create from this exhibition is that each room will evoke a different emotion,” she said. “You can absorb yourself in visuals all day long, but I like to look at the social context around it too.”