The Wildenstein Plattner Institute’s (WPI’s) Paul Gauguin Oral History Series explores the context and creation of the 2020 digital volumes of the catalogue raisonné of the paintings of Paul Gauguin.
Interviews with the catalogue’s researchers and preeminent Gauguin scholars, including Sylvie Crussard, reveal the intricate, detailed process and decisions that shape a catalogue raisonné. Highlighting the project researchers’ professional backgrounds and the unique skills and experiences they bring to their work, a more comprehensive behind-the-scenes picture of the research process emerges — and in doing so, our contemporary understanding of Gauguin’s work gains new depth as well.
Sylvie Crussard is a Gauguin scholar and leading researcher for the forthcoming volume of the Paul Gauguin catalogue raisonné focused on the artist’s Breton years (1889-1891). Working on the Wildenstein Institute’s Claude Monet catalogue raisonné in the early 1970s was her first job in art history, and she has remained integral to the Institute’s research endeavors ever since. Highlights from her interview with WPI’s Executive Director Elizabeth Gorayeb include her memories of working on the Monet catalogue with researcher Rodolphe Walter, collaborating with Daniel Wildenstein and Douglas Cooper on the early volumes of the Gauguin catalogue, shifts in public perception of Gauguin’s work, and descriptions of her preferred research methods.
KEYWORDS: Claude Monet, Paul Gauguin, Wildenstein Institute, Daniel Wildenstein, Richard Brettell, Douglas Cooper, Rodolphe Walter, Victor Merlhes, Tahitian period, Breton period, Pont-Aven, experimental art, sketchbooks, catalogue raisonnés, provenance research
Françoise Marnoni is a researcher and Managing Editor for the forthcoming volume of the Paul Gauguin catalogue raisonné. She began working for the Wildenstein Institute’s Paris office in 2000 while researching the Pierre-Auguste Renoir catalogue raisonné, and later on, the catalogue raisonnés of Maurice de Vlaminck and Kees Van Dongen. Highlights of the interview include discussions of her research methods, the use of correspondence and digital archival collections as research tools, provenance in Gauguin’s Tahitian period, and the particular advantages of a digital catalogue raisonné.
KEYWORDS: Paul Gauguin, Tahitian period, provenance research, correspondence, Ambroise Vollard, Raymond Cogniat, Georges Chaudet, Georges-Daniel de Monfreid, Gaston Lévy, archival collections, dossiers, catalogue raisonnés
Evgenia Kuzmina is a researcher on the team compiling the forthcoming volume of the Paul Gauguin catalogue raisonné. She began working for the Wildenstein Plattner Institute’s Paris office in 2018. Originally from Russia, Kuzmina’s first encounters with the work of Paul Gauguin came in the galleries and archives of Moscow and St. Petersburg, lending her a unique perspective on the artist’s work. Highlights of the interview include discussions of various European art institutions and archives, the benefits and difficulties of conducting research with digital archival collections, and establishing a comprehensive chronology of Gauguin’s works.
KEYWORDS: Paul Gauguin, Tahitian period, provenance research, correspondence, archival collections, dossiers, catalogue raisonnés, digital archives, ZADIK, Thannhauser Archives, Gaston Lévy, Georges Chaudet, Pushkin Museum, Russian art movements