Impressionism at TAM

In partnership with Tacoma Arts Live who is presenting  Imagine Monet, TAM is reintroducing some impressionist works from its collection. This Display will be on view from February 14, 2024- April 14, 2024 in TAM’s Sally and John Barline Gallery.


Heads of Two Young Girls painting by Pierre Auguste Renoir
Pierre Auguste Renoir
Heads of Two Young Girls, 1890
Oil on canvas
12 3/4 x 16 1/4 in. (32.4 x 41.3 cm)
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. W. Hilding Lindberg

The impressionist movement developed in France in the mid-19th century as a reaction against the prevailing academic style, primarily historical and mythological scenes that were detailed and highly finished. The academic mode was the core of a deeply ingrained system of teaching art and dominated the important annual public exhibitions, called salons.

The 19th century was a time of great change, and the impressionists wanted their art to reflect this new world. Technologies such as the telegraph, steam engine, and assembly line fundamentally altered the way people experienced distance, time, and space. New scientific discoveries about vision, color perception, and memory directly affected the way artists approached their work, as did photography. The advent of pre-mixed paint in a tube freed artists from the studio and allowed for greater spontaneity of execution.

The impressionists were captivated by these new avenues for art: to work outdoors, experiment with color, paint quickly and loosely, capture fleeting effects of atmosphere and light, record contemporary experience, convey a personal impression. The result was a style that allowed for individual expression and was an earthshaking change for the art world at that time.

This display is inspired by the Imagine Monet immersive exhibition presented by Tacoma Arts Live at the Tacoma Armory.