16 July, 2020

Historic European art trail comes to North Adelaide

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Get up close and personal with life-size reproductions of European master paintings from as early as the 15th century, from the collections of Thomas Henry Museum in Cherbourg, France.

At a time when travelling abroad is not possible, relish a unique European cultural experience right here on our doorstep with the arrival of Musée Extérieur: European art on the walls of Adelaide.

From Bastille Day (July 14) to September 14, prominent walls along North Adelaide will be transformed into an outdoor museum with a trail of historic European art pieces on display.

Stroll along King William Rd, Melbourne and O’Connell streets and wind through the Adelaide Park Lands and take in the open-air exhibit.

There will be 10 art works on display outside locations including the Women’s and Children’s Hospital, the Archer Hotel and Lincoln College (see full list below) featuring the works of Thomas Henry, Simon Vouet, Marguerite Gérard, Filippino Lippi, Jan Massys and other celebrated artists.

Lord Mayor Sandy Verschoor chose Landscape (1750) by Claude-Joseph Vernet to be exhibited in the old smelting chimney at the Old Lion Apartments on Jerningham St, with visitors having the unique experience of viewing the artwork through a peep hole in the chimney.

The Lord Mayor said the trail was a wonderful way to safely view these historic, priceless and rare European artworks, right here in Adelaide.

“We might not be able to travel overseas at the moment but through partnering with the Thomas Henry Museum, we can enjoy stunning centuries old European art right here at home,” the Lord Mayor said.

“This new family friendly art exhibition trail is a great way to rediscover North Adelaide, to connect with local shops and cafes who’ve been impacted by COVID-19 and to take some time to enjoy these mesmerising art works.

“Vernet’s Landscape perfectly captures the soft light of a summer’s day so it’s almost as if we are being transported back in time to 18th century Italy.”

David Roche Foundation museum director Robert Reason will display Simon Vouet’s Allegory of Peace (c1645) on Melbourne St.

“I selected the Allegory of Peace because really it is a wonderful image of Gods and Goddesses, and of course David Roche’s collection here abounds with images of both, both in a sculptural form and in a painted form,” Mr Reason said.

“Also, I am particularly interested in early Baroque painting, it’s always so theatrical and has a marvellous historical narrative to it as well.

“I know that David always enjoyed a good story and this painting is a good story.”

City of Adelaide curator Polly Dance said Council worked closely with the Thomas Henry Museum in Cherbourg as well as North Adelaide residents and businesses to select locations and artworks for display.

“Each artwork has been curated especially for each particular site to allow people to immerse themselves in the experience as they walk through the beautiful streets of North Adelaide,” Ms Dance said.

“We wanted our community to be involved as we take viewers on a journey through centuries of European art history.”

Musée Extérieur: European art on the walls of Adelaide is a partnership between the City of Adelaide and Ville de Cherbourg-en-Cotentin in France.

The exhibit was proposed last year when a delegation from Cherbourg visited South Australia to meet with state and local officials as part of France’s Naval Group’s upcoming build of the $50 billion Future Submarine fleet at Osborne.

The initiative is part of the City of Adelaide’s Recover and Reimagine program, which is supporting the city to get back on its feet in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In May, Council launched an idea sharing platform on its website to capture community ideas, big or small, about how the city could look as we recover from the economic and social impacts of COVID-19.

We encourage everyone to share their photos of the art trail on social media using #MyAdelaide.

List of locations:

1. Women’s & Children’s Hospital, 72 King William Road

2. The David Roche Foundation, 241 Melbourne Street

3. Old Lion Apartments, smelting chimney, 9 Jerningham Street

4. Public Car Park, 34 Jerningham Street

5. Car Park, 52 Jerningham Street

6. Melbourne Street Fine Wine Cellars, 93 Melbourne Street

7. 62 Lefevre Tce (near Glover Playground)

8. 99 O'Connell St

9. The Archer Hotel, facing 88 O’Connell

10. Lincoln College, south corner facing WCH

Download the trail map online at cityofadelaide.com.au/outdoor-museum

For more information

Ashleigh Pisani