If I had to choose my favorite style of art, Impressionism would easily win. I think my mother would agree. There’s something about the soothing brush strokes, bright colors and natural beauty that give Impressionist paintings unparalleled timelessness. So, you can only imagine my excitement when I learned of a new Impressionism art exhibit in New Orleans, featuring a handful of master works never-before-seen by the public.
M.S. Rau Antiques is a treasure trove in New Orleans’ French Quarter. The 33,000 sq. ft. antiques store rivals the Smithsonian in terms of priceless and pricey treasures. The best part is that the laid back and welcoming staff with happily take anyone off the street on the tour of a lifetime. If you’re especially lucky, they may even let you try on some of the multi-million dollar jewels up front (talking your husband into actually purchasing them is much more difficult challenge).
Among the furniture, china and jewelry, M.S. Rau has amassed a vast collection of art. Through a “secret” passageway in the back of the store, you enter into a world of Van Goghs, Monets and Reniors, subtly marked with price tags featuring many, many zeros. For years, curator Bill Rau has painstakingly documented these works in a beautiful new hardcover book the store is selling for $249 (100% of the proceeds benefit the Rau for Art Foundation). In conjunction with his book release, Rau has unveiled an entire Impressionism exhibit. Some of the works are part of his collection, some privately owned and others on loan from customers. The most exciting part is that unlike similar exhibits in museums around the world, most of these paintings haven’t been seen by the public in decades, even centuries.
In keeping with the store’s laid back attitude, Rau isn’t charging a penny for the exhibit and invites everyone to stop in and enjoy his incredible collection.