The Tissot exhibition recently opened to the public. On your visit to see the exhibition, don’t forget to stop by the Libraries and Archives display cases to view additional Tissot materials from our Special Collections and Archives. On display are early Tissot exhibition catalogs, a limited edition book set signed by Tissot, and letters regarding the 1900 exhibition installation, and purchase of the collection. Also, there are rare illustrated Bibles from the Library collection in the Tissot exhibition.
Tissot’s artworks attracted much attention at the turn of the twentieth century. The traveling tour of Tissot’s watercolors drew masses of people, the record being 23,000 visitors in one day in Chicago. At the closure of the tour in 1900, the Board of Trustees of the Brooklyn Institute of Arts and Sciences agreed to solicit funds for purchase of the collection, in part by public subscription. The call for help was made to Brooklynites through a series of notices and announcements in the Brooklyn Daily Eagle.
Subscriptions flowed in at the rate of $300 – $1000 per day for several months, and the names of contributing individuals were periodically published in the Brooklyn Daily Eagle. These articles can be viewed online through Brooklyn Public Library’s digitization of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle. Conducting a simple keyword search for “Tissot” will return many results, revealing the public perception of Tissot’s artwork and the story of how the citizens of Brooklyn came together to acquire these works for the Brooklyn Museum collection.
Tara Cuthbert is the Archives Assistant at the Brooklyn Museum. Tara is from Sydney, Australia and received her Bachelor of Visual Arts from Southern Cross University in Northern New South Wales. She is currently studying for a MLIS at Queens College with a certificate in Archives. When not studying or working at the Museum, Tara enjoys spending time in her home/studio with her husband/collaborator on their life-long art project. She has two cats and enjoys walking to work from the Wallabout neighborhood in Brooklyn.