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January 22nd, 2003
Catalogues, Music, Jewelry and More Accompany Major Exhibition Exploring Degas’ Vision of the Ballet

Visitors who experience Degas and the Dance can take home a variety of books, music, children’s learning materials, jewelry and apparel to forever bring to mind the brilliant art of Edgar Degas and the beauty of this unprecedented exhibition, on view from Feb. 12-May 11, 2003 at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

The fully illustrated catalogue that accompanies the exhibition reveals new insights into Degas' lifelong passion for the dance, a subject that inspired the artist to create many of his greatest masterpieces. Published by the American Federation of Arts and Harry N. Abrams, Inc., the catalogue (304 pages; approximately 190 colorplates and 125 black-and-white illustrations; 9 ½ x 11 inches; hardcover $49.95; paperback $35.00) features a comprehensive text by Richard Kendall and Jill DeVonyar on Degas' relationship with dance and the dance world, and the historical circumstances of the ballet in mid-to late 19th-century Paris.

"An exhibition like Degas and the Dance will spark curiosity about the artist’s life and the time in which he worked, and so we will offer our visitors an exhibition catalogue, books and videos to further explore these topics," said Gail Harrity, chief operating officer of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. "Our shop helps to generate income to support the Museum's programs and operating expenses while allowing our visitors to take home a remembrance of the experience. "

The shop promises a number of options to engage and enlighten young minds. Degas and the Dance: The Painter and the Petits Rats—Practicing Their Art, written by children’s book author Susan Goldman Rubin and published by Harry N. Abrams in association with the AFA and the School of American Ballet, tells the story of the artist’s attraction to dance and study of the dance world (32 pages; 30 full color illustrations; 9 x 12 inches; hardcover $17.95). Fresh from the experience, youngsters inspired by Degas' love of the ballet can begin their dance careers with a colorful tutu in pink, pale blue or ivory, ballet toe shoes, and a kit that allows them to create "My Ballet Bag."

Reproductions of Degas' dance images including The Dance Class, Orchestra Musicians, and The Ballet Class are available on paper, in the form of framed, unframed and plaque-mounted posters, postcards, note cards, note cubes, and bookmarks, as well as stained glass. Italian silk scarves in a variety of border colors capture the rich, behind-thescenes imagery of Degas' oil painting Three Dancers in Yellow Skirts and the pastel Ballet from an Opera Box, adding style to any wardrobe. Gentlemen stepping out for an evening at the opera or ballet can choose from three silk ties adorned with Degas' signature, a sketch of ballerinas, or an image of the sculpture, Little Dancer, Aged Fourteen.

Music, Degas and Dance presents the melodies the artist enjoyed during his many visits to the Paris Opera in the 19th century. The compact disc opens with compositions by Léo Delibes (1836-1891), with selections from first major triumph, the ballet Coppélia, as well as dances he wrote for Victor Hugo's play Le Roi s'Amuse. The 18- track CD also presents works by Hector Berlioz (1803-1869), Georges Bizet (1838- 1875), Jules Massenet (1842-1912), Giacomo Meyerbeer (1791-1864), Adolphe Adam (1803-1856), and Charles Gounod (1818-1893). Music, Degas and Dance is the newest in a unique and ongoing series of compact discs entitled Art In Concert, featuring music related to the life and times of an individual artist. Each disc includes biographical notes of the artists and composers.

The video Degas in New Orleans: A Creole Sojourn takes an intimate look into the lives of the artist and his maternal Creole family, the Mussons, during his five-month sojourn into the post-Civil War New Orleans of 1872. Edgar Degas: The Unquiet Spirit, an RM Arts/BBC Television co-production, explores the artist’s practice of showing his subjects as real people engaged in often-unglamorous activities.

The Museum, in partnership with Maximal Art of Philadelphia, has also developed a line of jewelry featuring handmade pins, necklaces and charm bracelets with images from Degas and the Dance. Founded in 1985 by John Wind, Philadelphia-based Maximal Art has produced work featured in numerous international exhibitions and that is represented in the collections of the Victoria and Albert Design Museum in London and the Musée des Arts Decoritifs in Paris.

About Degas and the Dance

Degas and the Dance, a comprehensive exhibition of paintings, works on paper, and sculptures by Edgar Degas (1834–1917), focused exclusively on the French artist’s fascination with ballet, is on view at the Philadelphia Museum of Art from February 12 through May 11, 2003. The exhibition explores the artist’s extraordinary achievement as an acute observer of the on- and off-stage activities of the dancers of the Paris Opéra. It is the first exhibition to examine fully his work in the vivid context of 19th-century ballet, with costume designs, stage sets, and photographs of dancers also included to provide added immediacy and context.

The exhibition is organized by the American Federation of Arts, the Detroit Institute of Arts, and the Philadelphia Museum of Art. The exhibition is made possible by ATOFINA and The PNC Financial Services Group. Additional support is provided by the Delaware River Port Authority, The Pew Charitable Trusts, The Annenberg Foundation, and an indemnity from the Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities. Promotional support is provided by NBC 10 WCAU, and AMTRAK.

The Philadelphia Museum of Art is among the largest museums in the United States, with a collection of more than 227,000 works of art and more than 200 galleries presenting painting, sculpture, works on paper, photography, decorative arts, textiles, and architectural settings from Asia, Europe, Latin America, and the United States. Its facilities include its landmark Main Building on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, the Perelman Building, located nearby on Pennsylvania Avenue, the Rodin Museum on the 2200 block of the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, and two 18th-century houses in Fairmount Park, Mount Pleasant and Cedar Grove. The Museum offers a wide variety of activities for public audiences, including special exhibitions, programs for children and families, lectures, concerts and films.

For additional information, contact the Communications Department of the Philadelphia Museum of Art phone at 215-684-7860, by fax at 215-235-0050, or by e-mail at pressroom@philamuseum.org. The Philadelphia Museum of Art is located on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway at 26th Street. For general information, call (215) 763-8100.

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