ashmolean

Supporters of the Manet Campaign

The Ashmolean is very grateful to the following individuals and organisations for their generous support of the Ashmolean’s campaign to Save Edouard Manet’s Portrait of Mademoiselle Claus:

  • The Heritage Lottery Fund
  • The Art Fund
  • The Friends of the Ashmolean Museum
  • The Patrons of the Ashmolean Museum
  • The University of Oxford
  • Manny & Brigitta Davidson and family
  • Mr and Mrs Geoffrey de Jager
  • Sir Harry and Lady Djanogly
  • Mr Philip Mould
  • The Rothschild Foundation
  • The Dr Mortimer & Theresa Sackler Foundation
  • Mr and Mrs Timothy Sanderson
  • The Staples Trust
  • Sir Adrian Swire
  • Mr and Mrs Bernard Taylor
  • Barrie and Deedee Wigmore
  • Mr and Mrs Brian Wilson
  • The JL Wine Charitable Trust
  • The Woodward Charitable Trust

And to all of those others who have made donations to this appeal, and to those who wish to remain anonymous.

We would also like to thank the following for their assistance with the Campaign and the Outdoor Portrait Trail:

  • Andy Cooke / Imageworks
  • BBC Oxford
  • Beard Construction
  • Bolton & Quinn
  • Christ Church
  • Geriant Lewis
  • Kent Services
  • Mallams Auctioneers
  • Oxford Castle Quarter
  • Oxfordshire Newsquest
  • Pro Media
  • Radcliffe Infirmary, Walton Street and Woodstock Road
  • Sam King
  • Savills
  • St Mary’s University Church
  • St Peter’s College
  • Trinity College
  • University of Oxford Estates Directorate
  • University Parks
  • Wellington Square

A selection of supporters’ comments:

Sir Nicholas Serota, Director of Tate

The special appeal of this picture is that it is so rich in context and associations while having the spontaneity and brilliance of a working sketch. Depicting the violinist Fanny Claus, an intimate friend of Manet’s wife, Suzanne Leenhoff, and the future wife of Manet’s friend an fellow painter Pierre Prins, the portrait is a preparatory study for Le Balcon (Musée d'Orsay), one of Manet’s greatest pictures, a composition of several figures based on Goya’s Majas on a Balcony. It demonstrates how Manet's art was stimulated by both his sense of history and his personal experience and friendships. The Ashmolean is seeking to acquire the picture to give a fresh dimension and emphasis to its Impressionist collections. Already considerable, these would become outstanding, ranking alongside those in Cardiff or the Courtauld Gallery, with the addition of this work. Its subject, history and associations, and technical verve, would thrill scholars and public alike.

Sir Neil MacGregor, Director of the British Museum

This work by Manet would be a great addition to the national holdings and I believe that every effort ought to be made to secure it for a British collection. It would have particular resonance in the context of the Ashmolean. Not only would it join a rich collection of 19th century French and British paintings, which it would greatly enrich – indeed transform: in Oxford University it would be at one of the world’s leading centres for the study of 19th century French painting, criticism and art theory.

Sir Norman Rosenthal

This work is of the kind that once seen, will make one look again at all paintings of Manet whenever and wherever one encounters them. In that sense it is a transformative work of art, and for it to live permanently in the Ashmolean will also further transform that special and most original of 'universal museums' as it displays the cultures of all times and places throughout history.

Professor Anna Gruetzner Robins, History of Art, University of Reading

Sargent's Manet is a key picture for art historians looking at the links between major artists of the late nineteenth century and twentieth century whether they be French, British or Anglo-Americans such as Sargent. The Study of internationalism and the arts is a growing field. It would be a tragedy if such a seminal picture as Mlle Fanny Claus which illustrates these points so well were not to be come part of the collection of the Ashmolean Museum.

Dr Christiana Payne, Department of History of Art, Oxford Brookes University

This an important and ravishingly beautiful work which will enhance the Museum’s holdings of French Impressionist and Post-Impressionist works enormously. At the moment the collection is strong in still-life and landscape but a substantial figure painting such as this one will add a new and very welcome note.

The use of white is a key theme in early Impressionist painting (and invites direct comparison with another important artist, Whistler) and the study, like the finished painting, demonstrates Manet’s interest in Japanese prints.

Anna Haywood, Yr3/4 class teacher, Hanwell Fields Community School, Banbury

A parent whose child took part in the Manet workshop approached me to say that her son was "buzzing after his experience" and he had said "we have GOT to go there mum!"

I was pleasantly surprised by how much you can learn from a painting. To see the children react in such a positive way was inspirational. The superb workshop enabled the children to step into the world of Mademoiselle Claus and explore everything from clothing and fashion, the role of women in society, and the life of an artist. Exceptional, thank you so much!

Dr Paul Spencer-Longhurst, Senior Research Fellow, The Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art

At another level the marked connections between the sitter’s profession as a violinist and the Ashmolean’s distinguished collection of musical instruments surely provide further compelling reasons for its acquisition.

Dr Robin Carlisle, Deputy Chief Operating Officer, Performance & Primary Care Improvement, Consultant in Public Health

The Ashmolean is a great gallery, a new Manet would make it greater.

Wood Green School

To allow students a first hand experience of viewing work is vital to appreciate emotion scale, and texture and this would therefore be invaluable asset to teaching in Oxfordshire.

Cheltenham Bournside School & Sixth Form Centre

Here in Cheltenham we have very limited access to the Impressionists. Normally we need to make an expensive and long journey to London to see them, and the acquisition of this Manet would compliment the Monet and the Pissarro’s in the Ashmolean, starting to build a significant Impressionist collection accessible to many more students across the region.

John Mason School

The addition of a Manet would help provide a greater understanding and perhaps be the start of an exciting collection at the museum; one of very few outside London. IN an increasingly difficult teaching climate, where taking students on expensive trips to the capital impractical and verging on impossible, gaining high calibre local resources is crucial to inspiring young people in Oxfordshire and the surrounding counties to pursue art and learn through art about cultural and historical significance.

St Clare’s College

From a Theory of Knowledge/Critical Thinking perspective the picture is a wonderful stimulus for thinking about the nature of art and its correspondence to "reality" or truth. It also gives wonderful opportunities to discuss gender issues in art and art history and to look at portraits by both male and female Impressionists.