Degas at the Opéra: National Gallery of Art Exhibit Opening Day (FREE)


Hello, the Degas exhibit is in the National Gallery of Art - West Building Ground Floor - Galleries 23-39.

Friday I was able to get a sneak preview and it’s spectacular - dozens of

Degas paintings and the Little Dancer sculpture.

This is a major exhibit and will be popular - i.e. potentially a lot of people.

We strongly recommend arriving early.

The museum opens at 11:00 and I personally expect to be there at 10:45 to get in line.

Feel free to look for me – brown hat, brown cap, cream-colored scarf.

The museum is open until 6:00 and sometimes exhibits like these are not crowded if you go at the end of the day, an hour or so before closing.

We also recommend entering the museum at the 7th Street entrance, which is between Constitution Avenue and Madison Drive, because this entrance is just a few steps away from the exhibit (otherwise if you enter elsewhere you’ll spend several minutes walking through the museum to get to the exhibit).




Washington, DC—Edgar Degas (1834–1917) is celebrated as the premier painter of dancers, a subject that dominated his art for nearly four decades. Degas's renowned images of the Paris Opéra are among the most sophisticated and visually compelling works he created. Celebrating the 350th anniversary of the Paris Opéra's founding, Degas at the Opéra will present approximately 100 of the artist's best-known and beloved paintings, pastels, drawings, prints, and sculpture. The exhibition will be on view from March 1 through July 5, 2020, accompanied by a fully illustrated exhibition catalog.

A music lover and regular visitor to performances, Degas explored both the public spaces of the Paris Opéra—auditorium, stage, and boxes—as well as more private ones, including dance studios and backstage. He was friends with many of the people he depicted in his paintings, from dancers, singers, and orchestra musicians to the formally dressed subscribers. The Opéra also fueled some of Degas's most daring technical innovations, including his first monotype, The Ballet Master (Le maître de ballet) (c. 1876, National Gallery of Art), and his wax sculpture Little Dancer Aged Fourteen (1878–1881, National Gallery of Art), which revolutionized the medium.

The Gallery has hosted several exhibitions on Degas over the years, including Wax Sculptures by Degas (1965–1973); Degas: The Dancers (1984–1985); Degas at the Races (1998); Degas/Cassatt (2014); and Degas's Little Dancer (2014–2015).

"Although there have been many exhibitions celebrating Degas's love of the ballet, this will be the first to celebrate his enduring fascination with the opera. The Gallery has the world's third largest collection of works by Degas, from which several of his key works depictions of the Paris Opéra will be on view in the show," said Kaywin Feldman, director, National Gallery of Art. "We are grateful to our partner organizations, the Musée d'Orsay and the Musée de l'Orangerie, other lending institutions and private collections, as well as BP America, Adrienne Arsht, and The Exhibition Circle at the Gallery for their support of this remarkable exhibition."

Exhibition Organization
The exhibition is organized by the National Gallery of Art, Washington, and the Musées d'Orsay et de l'Orangerie, Paris.

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