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A Special Look: Louis Michel Eilshemius

ON VIEW through Fall 2023

The largest body of work by a single artist in the Neuberger Museum of Art’s collection is by Louis Michel Eilshemius, who is represented by more than a hundred paintings, watercolors, and drawings.

A Special Look:The Landscapes of Louis Michel Eilshemius features a focused group of works created by the artist between 1874 and 1909 that reflect his academic training and interest in the longstanding European tradition of landscape painting. Like many of his predecessors from the nineteenth century, Eilshemius traveled throughout Europe and made several journeys to distant countries. His works were created both “en plein air,” and in his studio after images from his sketchbook.

The artist struggled all his life to attract public attention and sales. So, considering Roy Neuberger’s collecting proclivities, what might have prompted him to purchase such a large body of work by Eilshemius? Perhaps one appeal lay in the diversity of the artist’s subjects and mediums, as the acquired works covered a range of motifs—from street scenes reminiscent of the Ashcan Scholl to orientalist views of far-flung locales, to what became arguably his signature images, fantasies of nymphlike nudes in sylvan settings—and included pencil drawings, watercolors, and oils. 

A previous version of The Landscapes of Louis Michel Eilshemius was featured in the Neuberger Museum of Art from January to April, 2011. The exhibition was originally curated by curatorial intern Caroline Piazza, under the supervision of Patrice Giasson, the Alex Gordon Curator of Art of the Americas, who modified it for this Special Look.

Generous support for this project is provided by the Friends of the Neuberger Museum of Art and the Purchase College Foundation.