Marie Laurencin: Sapphic Paris

Columbus Museum of Art

Located in Lower Level Walter Wing
On view April 5–August 18, 2024

Admission Information

Marie Laurencin: Sapphic Paris is included with the cost of general admission.

Members get FREE admission.
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Exhibition Description

Beginning in the early 20th century, French artist Marie Laurencin (1883–1956) created a unique pictorial world that placed women at the center of modern art. With a highly original painting style that defied categorization, she moved seamlessly between the male-dominated cubist avant-garde, lesbian literary and artistic circles, and the realms of fashion, ballet, and decorative arts.

This exhibition explores Laurencin’s career, from her self-portraits to her collaborative decorative projects; from her early cubist paintings to her signature work—feminine and discreetly queer—that defined 1920s Paris. Presenting 38 works by Laurencin, it examines how her visualization of a “sapphic modernity” subtly but radically challenges existing narratives of modern European art.

Marie Laurencin: Sapphic Paris is organized by the Barnes Foundation and curated by Simonetta Fraquelli, consultant curator, and Cindy Kang, curator at the Barnes.

Exhibition Catalog

Marie Laurencin: Sapphic Paris

$50.00 USD

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Related Programming

Installation image featuring: Marie Laurencin, Ballerinas at Rest (Ballerines au repos), c. 1941. Oil on canvas. Private collection, Stowe, Vermont. © Fondation Foujita / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris 2023

Wednesdays@2: O Graces: A critical look at Marie Laurencin’s ‘feminine’ figures

June 19, 2:00–3:00 PM

Guest speaker Maggie Wilson will take a deep dive into Marie Laurencin’s representation of the queer female community, comparing it to classical female archetypes (muse, nymph, amazon). Each of these categories has a distinct legacy in the historical context of early 20th-century Paris and resonates with Laurencin’s work. Wilson’s talk will complement and expand on the exhibition, continuing the conversation on what it means for an artist’s work to be considered “feminine.”

Tickets are free for members, $10 for nonmembers.


Installation image featuring: Marie Laurencin, Les Deux soeurs au Violoncelle, 1913–1914. Oil on canvas. Musée Marie Laurencin, Tokyo. © Fondation Foujita / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris 2023

Wednesdays@2: Marie Laurencin’s Sapphic Circles of Influence

July 10, 2:00–3:00 PM

Art historian Tara Keny will present the lecture, “Marie Laurencin’s Sapphic Circles of Influence.” Lesbian artistic and literary circles thrived in early-twentieth-century Paris. One key figure was the writer and socialite Natalie Clifford Barney. Known as “the Amazon” among Parisians, she was a Dayton, Ohio native and heiress to a railroad fortune. A close friend of Laurencin, Barney served as an inspiration for her poetry and her coded equestrian imagery. In her intimate garden, tucked away on 20 rue Jacob, Barney hosted the city’s brightest artists and intellectuals, encouraging all who came to treat their life as an art form, to be true to themselves and open about their sexuality. Regulars included the writers Colette, Gertrude Stein, and Djuna Barnes as well as Marie Laurencin, the publisher Sylvia Beach, and the artist Romaine Brooks. Jean Cocteau, Marcel Proust, T.S. Eliot, and Etienne Mallarmé were also attendees. She declared in her memoire “…anything difficult to say must be shouted from the rooftops.” During this lecture Keny will explore how the artistic lives of Laurencin, Barney, Stein, and Beach intertwined and influenced subsequent generations of artists.

Tickets are free for members, $10 for nonmembers.


Art of Cuisine, Marie Laurencin: Sapphic Paris

July 12, 6:00–9:00 PM

Enjoy an evening of fine dining at the Columbus Museum of Art’s members-only event, Art of Cuisine. Start with a guided tour of the Marie Laurencin: Sapphic Paris exhibition, followed by a gourmet five-course meal created by Executive Chef Laura Richmond. A cash bar will be available. Space is limited.

Tickets are $100 per member. Add a French wine tasting for an additional $25.

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Thank You to Our Supporters

Marie Laurencin: Sapphic Paris is presented by the Charles Kleibacker Endowed Fund for Excellence

Generous support is also provided by

Additional funding is provided by
Annegreth Nill
Nanette Solomon

The following donors are gratefully acknowledged for supporting both Robin F. Williams: We’ve Been Expecting You and Marie Laurencin: Sapphic Paris

A donor who wishes to remain anonymous
Carol Andreae and Jim Garland
Beth Crane and Richard McKee
Betsy and Brian Ross

Carol and Dave Aronowitz
Felicia Bernardini
Kiehner Johnson Family Fund
Peggy and Bob Walter
Seanna and Matt Walter
John Wirchanski

A donor who wishes to remain anonymous
Lucy Ackley and Robert Collier
Ben Addison
Ron and Louisa Green
Mary Lazarus
Gabriel J. Mastin
Peg Mativi
Mary Ellen Ryan
Members of Stonewall Trailblazers

Marie Laurencin, Woman Painter and Her Model (Femme peinte et son modèle), 1921. Oil on canvas. François Odermatt Collection. © Fondation Foujita / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris 2023

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