Paris’s Galerie Bernheim-Jeune Closes

Paris’s Galerie Bernheim-Jeune Closes
Leading lights  -   Gallery owners

After a glorious 150-year run, the widely celebrated Galerie Bernheim-Jeune is permanently closing its doors in Paris. The gallery has earned a global reputation for presenting the best of the avant-garde and widely contributing to some of the greatest artists’ careers.

Le Journal des Arts reports that the gallery’s board has officially closed the space to pursue other projects, although an official announcement from the management team was posted on the gallery’s website in December of last year.

The gallery changed management mid 2018, when Beatrice and Stéphane Dauberville took the reigns from Guy-Patrice Dauberville and subsequently made the decision to shut down. The exact reasons are unknown but Guy-Patrice confirmed that the reasons are unrelated to the state of the market.

The gallery opened in 1863 and was famously run by the Bernheim-Jeune family. It gained popularity and significance for its groundbreaking exhibitions and close relations with early pioneers and avant-gardists like Eugène Delacroix and Gustave Courbet. They were also early promoters of Van Gogh and Cézanne.

A decade later, the gallery moved on to being one of the earliest presenters of the Impressionist movement, garnering a favorable attitude towards experimentation. Around that time, the sons of the founder Alexandre Bernheim-Jeune, Gaston and Jossé participated in the organization of the gallery and planned the first retrospective exhibition of Van Gogh’s paintings, which the gallery hosted in 1901.

As the sons assumed control of the family gallery, they made the excellent decision to hire Félix Fénéon to run their department of contemporary art in 1906, a role he held until 1920. In his tenure, the anarchist, critic and occasional editor of La Revue Blanche was among the most esteemed observers of contemporary art in Paris. Under his leadership, the gallery went on to exhibit Pierre Bonnard, Édouard Vuillard, Georges Seurat amongst many others, while giving contracts to Matisse, Maurice de Vlaminck, and Maurice Utrillo.

In 1907, only a year after Cézanne’s death, the gallery organized one of its greatest exhibitions: the Cézanne retrospective. The brothers quickly gained celebrity status in the art world, and were dubbed as the “Bernheim-Jeune brothers.” Édouard Vuillard famously painted their portraits in a work he titled The Art Dealers, and in 1920, Bonnard depicted them in a painting that is now in the Musée d’Orsay’s permanent collection.

Guy-Patrice, who has developed deep expertise on Pierre Bonnard and Pierre-Auguste Renoir, will take the gallery archives with him to continue conducting research on them with his daughter, Floriane, in a new space on Boulevard Haussmann. He had been running the gallery since 2012.

“Despite the closure of Bernheim-Jeune, my father, Guy-Patrice Dauberville, and I continue our studies on the works of Pierre Bonnard and Pierre-Auguste Renoir, which are not yet listed in our catalogue raisonné with our archives, as well as publications of specialized books such as the Matisse or Modigliani chez Bernheim-Jeune.” Floriane told artnet news.