The first-ever North American exhibition tour of the Albert Skira Collection of Henri Matisse’s lithographs for his 1948 series Florilége des Amours de Ronsard, and his 1930-32 series of etchings of Stéphane Mallarmé’s Poésies, is on view at the Oglethorpe University Museum of Art (OUMA) in Atlanta now through May 9. The exhibition Henri Matisse: A Celebration of French Poets & Poetry focuses on Matisse’s love and devotion to books and poetry celebrating the works of two of France’s most revered poets from the Renaissance period to modern times.  The exhibition includes 47 lithographs and 16 etchings.

In 1930, when Matisse returned to France from an extended vacation in Tahiti, he was invited by the famous French publisher, Albert Skira, to illustrate selected poems titled Poésies by the 19th century poet Stéphane Mallarmé. It was the first of several Matisse commissions connecting poetry and the graphic arts of etching, and later, lithography. In 1948, Matisse’s last major commission and collaboration with Skira was Florilége des Amours de Ronsard, an illustrated work consisting of 126 lithographs, celebrating the love poems of Pierre Ronsard.

The museum is open Tuesday through Sundays, noon to 5 p.m., while docent tours are available on Sundays at 2 p.m. General admission is $5 and free for OUMA members and children under 12. A series of special lectures and presentations are scheduled in February and March. Visit museum.oglethorpe.edu for a full schedule. Oglethorpe is located at 4484 Peachtree Road.

Collin Kelley

Collin Kelley has been the editor of Atlanta Intown for two decades and has been a journalist and freelance writer for 35 years. He’s also an award-winning poet and novelist.