Eye of the tiger (and the lion and the cheetah…)

Robert Dallet’s “Atlas Lion,” watercolor and gouache, Photo Studio des Fleurs, © Hermès, 2015
Robert Dallet’s “Atlas Lion,” watercolor and gouache, Photo Studio des Fleurs, © Hermès, 2015

You’re gonna hear them roar Sunday at the Bruce Museum as the Greenwich institution launches a major exhibit with Hermès and Panthera, a global wildcat conservation organization.

“Fierce and Fragile: Big Cats in the Art of Robert Dallet” (through March 13) features 60 paintings, drawings and sketches by the man who created 25 scarves for Hermès, including the iconic “Jungle Love” in 2000 and “Tendresse feline” and “Les Tigreaux,” both in 2012. His work also graced many other iconic Hermès products.

Offering a cross-disciplinary approach that brings together art, design and science, the exhibit provides a visual framework for a powerful conservation message and touches on Dallet’s 20-year collaboration with Hermès.

The collaboration between Hermès and Panthera was forged after Pierre-Alexis Dumas,  Hermès’ artistic director, met Panthera founder Thomas Kaplan, who is as passionate about the conservation of wildcats as he is about the art that depicts them. Dumas says “By making Dallet’s hitherto little-known genius available to a worldwide audience on the 10th anniversary of his death with a travelling exhibition, a book and a generous scarf to support Panthera on the 10th anniversary of its life, we hope to help raise awareness about the precarious existence of wildcats and their environments on a global basis.”

The exhibition is curated by Dominique Surh of the Leiden Collection, Kaplan’s private art collection, with contributions from Ménéhould de Bazelaire, who is the director of Hermès Cultural Patrimony. Paintings and drawings of Dallet’s work have been selected both from the Emile Hermès collection and the Robert Dallet family private collection. The exhibition will be accompanied by a book co-published by Hermès and the French publishing house Actes Sud.

General admission will be free during regular gallery hours to illustrate the Bruce and Hermès’ commitment to the appreciation of art by a greater audience and a broader understanding of conservation issues.

For more, visit brucemuseum.org. And for more on the exhibit, look for our report from the press preview in February WAG’s “Celebrate the Love” issue. – edited by Georgette Gouveia

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