Suzanne Valadon: Model, Painter, Rebel Exhibition

26 Sep 2021 - 9 Jan 2022
The Barnes Foundation 2025 Benjamin Franklin Parkway Philadelphia, PA 19130


Suzanne Valadon, Nude Sitting on a Sofa, 1916, oil on canvas, 32” x 23”. Courtesy of the Weisman & Michel Collection, © 2021 Artist Rights Society (ARS), New York.

The Barnes Foundation presents Suzanne Valadon: Model, Painter, Rebel, a monographic exhibition of French painter Suzanne Valadon (1865–1938). The exhibition considers the artist’s rich contributions to the early 20th-century art world by placing her works—which address themes of female desire, marriage, motherhood, and women’s physicality—in conversation with those in the Barnes’ collection of late 19th- and early 20th-century paintings by male artists.

After a career as an artist's model for the likes of Pierre-Auguste Renoir and Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Valadon became a successful painter herself and was the first self-taught woman to exhibit at the Salon de la Nationale des Beaux-Arts. She challenged social norms in both her lifestyle and art-making, painting unapologetic portraits and bold nudes.

This exhibition, the first major institutional show of Valadon’s work in the US, is curated by Nancy Ireson, the Barnes’ deputy director for collections and exhibitions and Gund Family Chief Curator.