Rosenberg Apartment Study Day


February 03, 2018

Léonce Rosenberg was one of the most influential dealers of modern art in Paris during and after World War I. The eldest son of the art dealer Alexandre Rosenberg, he and his brother Paul inherited their father’s business and divided it between them, with Léonce starting his own business in 1910 focused on the haute époque (antiquities from the Far and Middle East, Old Masters). In 1918 Léonce established the Galerie L’Effort Moderne, which specialized exclusively in modern art (or Cubist art). It became during the 1920s a crucial hub of support for avant-garde artists such as Fernand Léger, Juan Gris, Gino Severini, Giorgio de Chirico, Francis Picabia, and many others. In 1928 he rented a new apartment on the rue de Longchamp and commissioned a number of his favorite artists to realize decorative schemes for the various rooms—including both Giorgio de Chirico, subject of CIMA’s 2016-17 season, and Alberto Savinio, subject of CIMA’s current 2017-18 season.

With this program CIMA devotes an afternoon to exploring the history of this apartment and the artists who contributed artworks to it—including de Chirico, Savinio, Picabia, Léger, Herbin, Metzinger, Valmier, Severini, Ernst— looking in particular at how Rosenberg’s vision of the art dealer as a modern form of patron translated into the decoration. Beyond the still striking differences that characterize the artists involved and their practices, is it possible to identify any shared themes, visually or on the level of subject matter? “Modern antiquity” can be read as a common thread through most of the rooms, and there is also the idea of “transparency” and layered images in the works produced by Picabia, Savinio, and Ernst. What different history of Modernism can Rosenberg’s apartment tell?


Program Schedule

1:30pm – Registration opens; viewing of Alberto Savinio exhibition

2pm – Welcome by Heather Ewing, executive director of CIMA

2:15pm – Giovanni Casini, 2017-18 Hilla Rebay Fellow, Guggenheim Foundation, and former 2016-17 CIMA Fellow, on Léonce Rosenberg as a dealer, the evolution of his taste in modern art, the apartment project, and an introduction to the public reception rooms

2:45pm – Matthew Affron, Muriel and Philip Berman Curator of Modern Art at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, on Fernard Léger

3:15pm – Giovanni Casini on Giorgio de Chirico’s Hall of Gladiators and contributions by Jean Metzinger, Auguste Herbin, and Georges Valmier

3:45pm – coffee break

4:00pm – Alice Ensabella, 2017-18 CIMA Fellow, on an introduction to the Rosenberg apartment private rooms and Gino Severini

4:30pm – Anne Umland, Blanchette Hooker Rockefeller Curator of Painting and Sculpture at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), on Francis Picabia

5pm – Alice Ensabella on Alberto Savinio

5:30pm – Q&A roundtable discussion