Home > Current events > The Senn-foulds Donation From Courbet To Matisse

From Courbet to Matisse


Another donation that turns the Musée Malraux into a major center for all those interested in French art at the turn of the XIXth and XXth centuries.

2, boulevard Clemenceau
76600 Le Havre - France

Auguste RENOIR, Portrait de Nini Lopez, 1876, oil on cloth, 54,5 x 38 inches




Tel. 33 (0)2 35 19 62 62
Fax. 33 (0)2 35 19 93 01
Site : www.ville-lehavre.fr
E-mail : musee.malraux@ville-lehavre.fr


Monday to Friday from 11 am to 6 pm,
Saturday and Sunday from 11 am to 7 pm,
Closed Tuesdays and May 1


Full price: 5 €
Concessions: 3,80 € Groups of 10,
Large families, students, disbabled persons,
Friends of musée Malraux
Free access: under 18, unemployed and their family
musums staff, Art students
Audio Guides free.


Catherine Bertrand, attachée de presse
Tel. 02 35 19 44 21
Fax. 02 35 19 47 41
Email: catherine.bertrand@ville-lehavre.fr

Collectors make museums... The history of the museum of Le Havre is a perfect example. When creating its first museum in 1845, the city purchased important works by ancient and contemporary artists. But four legacies and donations, over a little more than a century, enriched the museum collections in a fundamental manner. The Hélène Senn-Foulds donation has been the final building block to turn the Musée Malraux into a major center for those interested in French art at the turn of the XIXth and XXth centuries.

Amateurs and artists

From now on two amateur collections, those of Charles-Auguste Marande and Olivier Senn, and the works from two artists’ studios, those of Eugène Boudin and Raoul Dufy, will share the museum’s walls. In 1900, Louis Boudin gave 220 sketches, what was left of his brother Eugéne’s studio, to the city of Le Havre. In 1936, Charles-Auguste Marande left the museum his collection of Impressionist and Fauvist works, sixty-three paintings and twenty-five drawings. In 1963, it was Raoul Dufy’s wife who gave her husband’s native town 70 works, spanning from his Fauvist period until after the war. The donation by Héléne Senn-Foulds of her grandfather’s collection, Olivier Senn, completes the collection already begun in an exemplary manner.

A passionate collector

Born in Le Havre in 1864, Olivier Senn, the director of cotton companies, participated actively to its local life. A prosperous town with a thriving port, Le Havre soon offered a cultural life of high quality, to the rhythm of exhibits to which the Fauves in particular participated. His first known purchases were three works by Camille Pissarro, and a painting by Renoir, «Femme vue de dos» (Woman seen from the back). His taste for the Impressionists and the art of landscapes had already been defined. His «avant-guarde» interests gave rise to some ironic remarks around him. In 1905, at the Salon des Indépendants, the famous «Cage aux fauves», his father-in-law bought five works among the «zaniest and the ugliest» for him. Thanks to this gift the museum welcomes today an extraordinary Fauvist landscape by Derain, «Bougival».

The pleasure of discovery

Olivier Senn continued to enrich his collection until the end of the 1930s, reinforcing the Impressionist base - Sisley, Monet, Renoir, Guillaumin -, and completing it with major pre-impressionist works - Delacroix Paysage à Champrosay, Courbet La Mer à Palavas, and opening it to the neo-impressionists with Cross La Plage de la Vignasse, to the Nabis - Sérrusier, Bonnard, Valloton, Vuillard – and to the Fauvist with works by Marquet or Matisse. He was interested in drawing. He purchased in particular an extraordinary ensemble of more than 40 drawings by Edgar Degas in his youth. Like that of a real amateur, his collection moves. Works enter, go out: he does not hesitate, if need be, to resell or to exchange a work to get another one. A great number of pieces from his collection are already well known. Others, less exposed, hold for us the pleasure of the discovery.

A «new» museum

Inaugurated by André Malraux in 1961, the museum was completely renovated by Laurent Beaudoin and opened again to the public in 1999. In order to welcome Olivier Senn’s collection, an area in the mezzanine was chosen. The position of the moldings will be modified to develop the hanging surfaces and create a more luminous atmosphere. The way of hanging the collections will be thought out again to leave a new place to XIXth century art. The changes directed by Laurent Beaudoin will begin in September 2005 and should last approximately three or four months, during which time the collection rooms will be exceptionally closed. The newly renovated museum should open its doors again at the beginning of 2006.
Illustration: Pierre BONNARD, Intérieur au balcon à Antibes, 1919, oil on cloth, 52 x 77 cm


Catalogue of the works of the Senn-Foulds donation :1st volume The paintings, 22 x 28 cm, 192 pages, 150 ill. Paperback with flaps Éditions d’Art Somogy: 30 € 2nd volume, The graphic works (to appear in 2006-2007)
Special edition of the magazine L'Oeil36 pages 6 €

Related activities
Guided tours. Games Itineraries for young visitors. Litterary promenade. Music.Workshops .Information: Tel. 02 35 19 62 61