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Archives: Jacqueline Delubac: the choice of modernity

7 November 2014 to 16 February 2015

This major exhibition on Jacqueline Delubac (1907-1997), features an audacious choice of works. It presents Delubac as an actress, the “most elegant woman in all of Paris” and most of all, an art lover and collector who, in 1998, bequeathed thirty-eight highly significant works of art to the Museum of Fine Arts in Lyon, the city of her birth.

Jacqueline Delubac left Valence (South of France), where she lived for most of her childhood, for Paris in the 1920s where her theater career began in 1931 with her performance in a play by Sacha Guitry (1885-1957). She became his third wife in 1935 and moved into his hôtel particulier – ‘private apartments’ - where she found herself surrounded by works of art. On stage as in the streets of Paris, she was the incarnation of the prevailing sense of elegance and avant-garde fashion. After playing twenty-seven theater roles and featuring in twenty-five films, Jacqueline Delubac, who separated from Sacha Guitry in 1939, ended her acting career at the beginning of the 1950s and began to build her own collection of art works. A well-known figure of Parisian high society, she shared her love of art with Myran Eknayan, her new companion and himself a passionate art collector. She married him later on in life, in 1981.

Considering the future destiny of her collection from 1988 onwards, Jacqueline Delubac, with no designated heir, decided to bequeath her works of art to a public art institution. After her death in 1997, the Museum of Fine Arts in Lyon became the custodian of 35 paintings and pastels by Monet, Manet, Renoir, Degas, Bonnard, Vuillard, Léger, Braque, Picasso, Miró, Bacon and others. This exceptional legacy, which was supplemented by several bronze statues by Rodin and 19th century paintings that had belonged to Myran Eknayan, was first revealed to the public in 1998 in newly-renovated viewing rooms at the museum. This bequest has since made it possible for the museum to present the largest impressionist collection in France outside of Paris. The more modern and contemporary works from her collection are a point of reference for 20th century art.

English tour of the exhibition Jacqueline Delubac: the choice of modernity.

Sat Nov 8th, Dec 6th, Jan 3rd, Feb 7th at 11:30 am

Entrance fee: museum ticket (9€) + 3 € / Free of charge

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