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MH de Young Museum
Birth of Impresionism: Masterpieces from the Musée d'Orsay
— May 22 - September 6, 2010

Birth of Impressionism: Masterpieces from the Musée d'Orsay
Now you don't have to travel all the way to Paris to see these magnificent works of art. "Birth of Impressionism: Masterpieces from the Musée d'Orsay" exhibit is on display at the de Young Museum in San Francisco — from May 22 to September 6, 2010.

The exhibition includes approximately 100 paintings from the Musée d’Orsay’s permanent collection and highlights the work of William-Adolphe Bouguereau, Gustave Courbet, Edgar Degas, Edouard Manet, Claude Monet, Pierre-August Renoir, Alfred Sisley, and James Abbott McNeill Whistler, among others. 



Arrangement in Grey and Black No. 1: Portrait of the Artist's Mother ("Whistler's Mother") by James Abbott McNeill Whistler (1871)
Arrangement in Grey and Black No. 1:
Portrait of the Artist's Mother ("Whistler's Mother") by James Abbott McNeill Whistler (1871)

The term "Impressionists" was born in 1874 — and today, Impressionism is recognized as one of the most important art movements in the 19th century.

Impressionist and Post Impressionist artists were influenced by Japanese prints which were discovered in the 1860s.

This treasured collection is on loan from the The Musée d’Orsay in Paris while they undergo a partial closure for refurbishment — the Impressionist and Post-Impressionist paintings will be reinstalled in their permanent galleries in spring 2011 in anticipation of Musée d’Orsay's 25th Anniversary.

The Musée d’Orsay in Paris
The Musée d’Orsay in Paris

Old Train Station in Paris - now The Musée d’Orsay
Old Train Station in Paris
- now The Musée d’Orsay



Portrait of Mademoiselle L.L. by James Tissot (1864)
Portrait of Mademoiselle L.L.
by James Tissot (1864)

"Birth of Impressionism: Masterpieces from the Musée d'Orsay" will be followed in the fall of 2010 by "Van Gogh, Gauguin, Cézanne, and Beyond: Post–Impressionist Masterpieces from the Musée d’Orsay." 

The de Young is the only museum in the world to host both of the Masterpieces from the Musée d’Orsay exhibitions, and this particular combination of paintings will never travel again.


Auguste Renoir
Auguste Renoir (1841-1919)

"Birth of Impressionism" is spectacular! Even if you've seen this exhibit in Paris (the Museé d'Orsay is our favorite museum), it's worth another visit to see these amazing masterpieces. Audio tours are highly recommended — you get so much detailed and historical information. It's a very popular exhibit, so be prepared for crowds!


"I hope that (these exhibitions) will excite the interest of the American public in order to strengthen further the links between our two countries"
Nicolas Sarkozy,
President of the French Republic

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Concourse Parking
Parking (for cars and bicycles) is available in the Concourse parking facility. Access to the north entrance is from Fulton St. @ 10th Ave. Access to the south entrance is at Concourse Dr. and Martin Luther King Dr. inside the park.

Open daily, year-round.

Limited parking is available on John F. Kennedy Drive and Martin Luther King Jr. Drive.

San Francisco City Pass - Save money on Top San Francisco Attractions

Sightseeing Tickets & Passes
in San Francisco
Sightseeing Tickets & Passes in SF

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"The Fife Player" by Edouard Manet (1866)
The Fife Player
by Edouard Manet (1866)

Rue Montorgueill, Paris. Festival of June 30, 1878 - Claude Monet
Rue Montorgueil, Paris. Festival of June 30, 1878
by Claude Monet (1878)

Notable works in the "Birth of Impressionism: Masterpieces from the Musée d'Orsay" exhibition include:

  • The Fife Player by Edouard Manet (1866)
    - pictured above
  • The Dancing Lesson by Edgar Degas (1873–1876)
    - pictured top left
  • Racehorses Before the Stands by Edgar Degas (1866–1868)
  • Family Reunion by Frédéric Bazille (1867)
  • The Cradle by Berthe Morisot (1872)
  • The Floor Scrapers by Gustave Caillebotte (1875)
  • The Swing by Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1876)
  • Red Roofs, Corner of the Village, Winter Effect by Camille Pissarro (1877)
  • Saint-Lazare Station by Claude Monet  (1877)
  • Snow at Louveciennes by Alfred Sisley (1878)
  • Rue Montorgueil, Paris. Festival of June 30, 1878 by Claude Monet (1878)
    - pictured above
  • L’Estaque by Paul Cézanne (1878–1879)
  • Portraits at the Stock Exchange by Edgar Degas (1878–1879)
  • The Birth of Venus by William-Adolphe Bouguereau (1879)
  • Arrangement in Grey and Black No. 1: Portrait of the Artist's Mother ("Whistler's Mother") by James Abbott McNeill Whistler (1871)
    -pictured left
  • The Magpie by Claude Monet (1968)
    - pictured below

The Magpie by Claude Monet (1968)
The Magpie by Claude Monet (1869)

View of the Marseille Gulf from L'Estaque by Paul Cezanne (1878-1879)
View of the Marseille Gulf
from L'Estaque by Paul Cezanne (1878-1879)


During the Musée d’Orsay exhibitions, the Friday Nights at the de Young series celebrates Impressionism and Post-Impressionism with lectures, music, and artist demonstrations.


Buy de Young Museum Tickets


Exhibit Hours
Open daily 9am-9pm

There are several early and holiday closures, so be sure to check the museum's web site when planning your visit.

All tickets to this exhibit are timed and dated. It is recommended that you arrive approximately 30 minutes early to line up. General public tickets are $20 in advance and $25 at the door. Reservations for Groups of 10 or more.

Tickets to "Birth of Impressionism" at the de Young are good for same-day admission to "Impressionist Paris" at the Legion of Honor.


Claude Monet
Claude Monet

Edgar Degas
Edgar Degas (1834-1917)

Edouard Manet
Edouard Manet (1832-1883)

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More Info
MH de Young Museum

- Exhibits
- Friday Nights
- Museum Cafe
- Sculpture Gdn
- Tower Views


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