25.05.11 First Public Showing in Europe of Matisse Art Books

Exhibition contains illustrations from four of Matisse’s most artistically significant books – Deenihan

Jimmy Deenihan TD Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht today (Wednesday 25th May, 2011) officially opened the new exhibition of the Art Books of Henri Matisse at the Chester Beatty Library, Dublin.

The exhibition features text and original illustrations from four of Matisse’s most artistically significant books, including the famous Jazz, as well as a Matisse book inscribed from the artist to Chester Beatty and a copy of Matisse’s illustrated version of James Joyce’s Ulysses, both from the Library’s own collection.

Speaking at the opening Minister Deenihan said that Henri Matisse, was one of the ‘big beasts’ of the modern art movement at the beginning of the 20th century. “Looking at this exhibition it is easy to appreciate why he was so considered. This spectacular exhibition of art books by Matisse has been loaned to the Chester Beatty Library by Bank of America Merrill Lynch. I understand it is the first time that this collection has gone on public display in Europe,” said the Minister.

Sir Alfred Chester Beatty was a contemporary of Matisse and his Library contains one of the finest collections of manuscripts and books made by any private collector in the twentieth century. They both shared an interest in art from many parts of the world such as Persian miniatures and Japanese prints.

Minister Deenihan also said “I am delighted to congratulate the Bank of America Merrill Lynch for their far-seeing and very public spirited approach to making their art collection widely accessible. Through their ”Art in Our Communities” programme they have lent more than 40 exhibitions to museums around the world free of charge. Indeed, I am also aware that Bank of America Merrill Lynch have sponsored contemporary sculptor, Lynda Benglis’s touring exhibition at the Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA) I am pleased to pay tribute to the Bank for its commitment to the arts in Ireland”.

Minister Deenihan is available for interview on 087 2908193.

Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, 23 Kildare Street, Dublin , D02 TD30. Tel: 01 631 3800 / LoCall: 1890 383 000

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