For the first time out of Europe, Toulouse-Lautrec & His World begins its U.S. tour here before moving on to Allentown Art Museum in Allentown, PA.

On view from January 12–May 12, 2013 in the McKernan Gallery, this traveling exhibition is on loan from the Herakleidon Museum, in Athens, Greece and is from the collection of Paul and Belinda Firos, the Connecticut collectors who also brought us M.C. Escher: Impossible Reality in 2010.

Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec lived in Paris during the Belle Époque (Beautiful Era) frequenting cabarets and cafés where he captured its famous singers, actors, his friends and the working class in his highly celebrated posters, prints, caricatures, sketches, and paintings. Greatly influenced by the French Impressionist movement, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec is a post-impressionist of the mid-late 1800’s. Due to his excessive lifestyle Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec died from complications of alcoholism and syphilis in 1901 at age 36.

This exhibition highlights approximately 150 of Toulouse-Lautrec’s rare works on paper including sketches, and some of his iconic posters like Jane Avril, Divan Japonais, and La Troupe de Mademoiselle Eglantine. The included posters are incredibly rare and fragile because as temporary advertisements for a particular show they were not done on quality paper. Some of the works are accompanied by appropriate passages from French literature, photographs, and other objects, in order to help the viewer better understand the atmosphere of that time.


Over the last five years, it has been most rewarding for the New Britain Museum of American Art to work with PAN Art Connections, Inc. The Toulouse-Lautrec and Escher exhibition brought record numbers of people to the Museum. We expanded our membership dramatically and sales in the Museum store were robust. The exhibitions came with comprehensive text panels and labels and interpretive, educational materials. The works of art themselves were of the very highest quality and were in perfect condition and beautifully framed. Visitors of all ages reacted very well especially to the Escher show, which resonated with visitors from their teenage years to their nineties.

Most of all, it was a pleasure to work with the staff of PAN Art Connections, Inc. They are responsible, well-organized, and made every effort to accommodate all of our particular requirements. Whenever we needed them, they provided the assistance, which made our entire relationship with them mutually beneficial.
In terms of our budget and in terms of the contract, PAN was 100% on target and no complications ensued. Of the dozens of exhibitions we have mounted over the last decade, I would say that the Escher and Toulouse-Lautrec shows were certainly among the most popular and most well-remembered. We look forward to working with PAN again in the future.

DOUGLAS HYLAND, DirectorNew Britain Museum of American Art, New Britain CT, USA