I recently went with my wife and one of my daughters to see the Intimate Impressionism exhibit at the McNay Art Museum in San Antonio. It was a fascinating exhibit, and I was in awe by many of the paintings. My favorites, in no particular order, were:
- “Yacht Basin at Trouville-Deauville” by Eugene Bodin
- “Picking Flowers” by Auguste Renoir
- “Meadow” by Alfred Sisley
- “Boulevard Heloise, Argenteuil” by Alfred Sisley
- “Argenteuil” by Claude Monet
- “Still Life with Grapes and a Carnation” by Henri Fantin-Latour
- “Peaches on a Plate” by Auguste Renoir
- “Concert at the Casino of Deauville” by Eugene Bodin
- “Festival in the Harbor of Honfleur” by Eugene Bodin
The one that made me say, “Wow” upon first seeing it was Renoir’s “Picking Flowers”, so it has to be considered my top pick on the list.
Almost as fun and fascinating as seeing the art was overhearing the various conversations people were having about the paintings. They ranged from, “Those oysters sure look tasty”, to rather in-depth discussions about what the artist was actually trying to portray or might be thinking at the time. It was a clear example of the role the arts and museums on the economy. From the looks of bumper stickers on some of the cars, it appeared that the exhibit did attract visitors from Austin and other areas outside San Antonio, but the more profound impacts, in my opinion, are the enhanced quality of life and the creative inspiration it provided many of those who saw the exhibit. While the ability of an art exhibit to attract visitors to the area is important, It is the impacts to quality of life and the inspiration they provide that attract the skilled, creative workers in all industries to a region, and it is exactly why the arts are so important to the continued development of a regional economy.