TOULOUSE-LAUTREC Arrives in Allentown

For Immediate Release
May 20, 2013
Media Contact:
Chris Potash
(610) 432-4333 ext. 125


Popular exhibit of Paris-themed posters and prints set to open June 2

Allentown, PA—Crates containing more than 140 original works on paper by French artist Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec arrived last week at the Allentown Art Museum of the Lehigh Valley in preparation for the summer 2013 exhibit Toulouse-Lautrec and His World. This traveling exhibition is on loan from the Herakleidon Museum in Athens, Greece, and focuses on the art and life of one of the most fascinating artists and personalities of the Belle Époque(Beautiful Era) in France, which dates from the late 19th century through World War I. Lautrec lived in Paris during this colorful time of cabarets and cafés and captured its most famous singers, actors, and other characters in his highly celebrated posters, prints, and sketches. 

Toulouse-Lautrec and His World—which will fill the Scheller and Rodale galleries on the Museum’s second floor from June 2 to September 1, 2013—will showcase well-known works on paper by the great French artist, including the posters Jane Avril, Divan Japonais, La Revue Blanche, and Mademoiselle Eglantine’s Troupe depicting four women dancing the Can-Can.

This will be the best opportunity for art lovers from the mid-Atlantic region to see the exhibit: the Allentown Art Museum is the closest venue to Philadelphia, New York, Baltimore, and D.C. to present Toulouse-Lautrec and His World. The exhibition tour kicked off earlier this year in New Britain, Connecticut, and after Allentown it will head west, to Flint, Michigan. During the 10 months the collection was on display in Athens, an average of 10,500 visitors per month took in the exhibit. The Connecticut exhibition attracted 40,000 visitors.  


The Allentown Art Museum of the Lehigh Valley

31 North Fifth Street

Allentown, Pennsylvania



Exhibition Hours: 

Wednesday–Saturday         11 a.m.–4 p.m.

Sunday                                  noon–4 p.m.



In support of the exhibition, the Allentown Art Museum announces its schedule of Lautrec-related events:


June 1 (Saturday), 6 p.m.–8 p.m.

Exhibition Preview Party for Toulouse-Lautrec and His World

The kick-off party to a summer of French fun, with a first look at the exhibition and featuring cabaret-style performances at 6:15 p.m. and 7:15 p.m.; live music by an accordionist who specializes in the Parisian swing-waltz style of Musette and Gypsy Jazz; sketch artists; French-inspired hors d'oeuvres created by Museum caterer Karen Hunter; and a cash bar complete with absinthe and French-style varietal wines from Blue Mountain Vineyards.Members FREE, nonmembers $15.Call 610-432-4333, ext. 129, to make a reservation, or visit ticketleap.


June 2 (Sunday), noon–4 p.m.

Opening Day of special exhibition Toulouse-Lautrec and His World

In Scheller and Rodale Galleries, through September 1.


June 5 (Wednesday), noon

Noon Gallery Talk: “The Beautiful Bodice: Fashions from the 1890s”

Kayla O’Connor, adjunct curator of textiles, leads a walk-through and talk about the Museum’s complementary exhibit to LAUTREC, a selection of vintage Victorian-era fashions on display in Goodman Gallery. This casual talk runs approximately forty-five minutes and is free with Museum admission.


June 7 (and every Friday through August 30), 2 p.m.

French Fridays at the Museum!

Museum educators will provide insight into the elegant and provocative works on display in Toulouse-Lautrec and His World. These intimate gallery tours are FREE with admission every Friday at 2 p.m. during the exhibition. Come early and enjoy a Parisian-style lunch or snack in the Museum Café, featuring French menu items all summer, such as mussel soup, goat-cheese tart, anchovy-and-tomato pissaladière, filled croissant, and more.


June 9 (Sunday), 1 p.m.

Lisa Norris: “Toulouse-Lautrec and His Muse—Paris during the Belle Époque

Lautrec was a well-known fixture in the dancehalls, cabarets, and brothels of Belle ÉpoqueParis. This talk will look at how Lautrec’s art reflects the raucous, glittering world that inspired him. Lisa Norrisis Associate Professor of Art History at Kutztown University. She earned her doctorate degree from Brown University; her specialization is French art of the later nineteenth century. $5 members, $15 nonmembers. To register call 610-432-4333, ext 110, or go to


June 16 (Sunday), 1 p.m.

Annette Blaugrund: “Dispensing Beauty”

In her book Dispensing Beauty: The Triumphs and Tragedies of Harriet Hubbard Ayer, author and lecturer Annette Blaugrund tells the amazing story of the first American woman to own and operate a cosmetics company. As a Victorian-era entrepreneur, Ayer triumphed over divorce, kidnapping, madness, seduction, and betrayal to help generations of women look and feel good about themselves, first with her creams and balms and then with her writing for Joseph Pulitzer's New York World.  In this presentation Dr. Blaugrund will detail Ayer’s association with the popular French performer and Lautrec model Yvette Guilbert. Annette Blaugrund is the former director of the National Academy Museum and School of Fine Arts in New York and has been named a Chevalier in the Order of Arts and Letters by the government of France. Dr. Blaugrund currently sits on the Advisory Council of the Art History department at Columbia University. $5 members, $15 nonmembers. To register call 610-432-4333, ext 110, or go to


July 14 (Sunday)

Bastille Day at the Museum

Celebrate Bastille Day by taking in the Lautrec exhibit in the Museum’s upstairs galleries, sampling French-style wines created by Blue Mountain Vineyards, and learning about the technology of art printing and lithography in the time of Lautrec at 1 p.m. fromChristine Giviskos, Associate Curator of European Art at the Jane Vorhees Zimmerli Art Museum, Rutgers University, in her presentation “French/European Printmaking in the Late 19th Century.” Printmaking presentation is $5 for Museum members, $15 nonmembers. To register call 610-432-4333, ext 110, or go to




At the center of the special exhibition Toulouse-Lautrec and His Worldis a rare collection of original works on paper. This includes a number of the artist’s posters, with and without advertising lettering (sans lettres), as well as thirty-five of his sketches, which were often the draft ideas for the posters themselves. The included posters are rare and fragile because as temporary advertisements for a particular show they were not done on quality paper. Also on display will be examples of Lautrec’s book illustrations.



Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (1864–1901) was greatly influenced by the French Impressionist movement and strove to incorporate the ideals of such painters as Monet and Renoir into his own work.  Categorized as a Post-Impressionist, he is best known for his works depicting scenes from cabarets, theaters, dance halls and brothels. These were experiences that he himself lived when he moved to the north district of Montmartre in Paris in 1885. His interest lay in portraying people, not only those he met during his nights on the town but also his friends and the working-class citizens of Paris. In 1891, Toulouse-Lautrec produced a color poster for the Moulin Rouge nightclub that brought him instant fame. He also illustrated theater programs, book covers, menus, and other ephemera. His expressive use of line was well suited to the medium of lithography—he never made a distinction between commercial and fine art, even though he also painted in oil. Due to alcohol abuse and the effects of syphilis, his health began to deteriorate and Toulouse-Lautrecdied in 1901at the age of thirty-six.



Founded in 1934 by the teacher, painter and critic Walter Emerson Baum (1884–1956), the Allentown Art Museum of the Lehigh Valley has become the premier institution of visual arts in the region, serving as an important cultural destination as well as a vital element in the economic revitalization of downtown Allentown. The Museum’s newly expanded gallery space showcases a growing collection of art of international importance, allowing visitors to experience a broad spectrum of art representing diverse media, materials, and techniques from an equally diverse range of countries and cultures. In 1974 the Museum received prestigious accreditation from the American Association of Museums and today remains one of just 299 art museums of the 15,000 museums nationwide accorded this status.




Presenting Sponsors

County of Lehigh, Julius & Katheryn Hommer Foundation

Major Sponsors

The Express-Times, The Leon C. and June W. Holt Endowment

Sustaining Sponsors

The Audrey and Bernard Berman Endowment Fund, Mr. and Mrs. Curtis H. Barnette, The Donald B. and Dorothy L. Stabler Foundation, Nancy Light

Supporting Sponsors

B. Braun Medical Inc., Holiday Inn Center City Allentown, IconLehigh Valley Woman, Mr. and Mrs. Gary L. Millenbruch, Senior Style, WDIY 88.1 FM–Lehigh Valley Community Public Radio




Adams Outdoor Advertising

Amaranth Foundation

The Nolan P. Benner Jr. Family

The Century Fund

William and Phyllis Grube


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