Turner to Monet: today and tomorrow

Those wishing to tour the “Turner to Monet” exhibit at the Blanton Museum may do so from 11 am to 5 pm even though it’s New Year’s Day, and also during the same hours tomorrow, which is the very last day to see these masterpieces.

Yesterday, the line formed outside the doors before they opened. Being there early makes for a less crowded experience than arriving later, but these galleries are far from deserted. We found no exhibition catalogue or even a listing of the paintings, but the Web site mentions many of them. There’s a descriptive card for each painting, and the cards appear to be placed at a height convenient for those in wheelchairs; all others but the most diminutive or those with the sharpest vision must stoop to read. The galleries take viewers to an exit via the museum gift shop, where there are stationery items and other inventory related to the exhibit, most of which feature the Degas, Monet, or Manet.

Not to be missed is the exhibit upstairs called “Repartee: 19th-Century Prints and Drawings from The Blanton Collection.” This runs through January 16 and is intended to be a companion to the works downstairs. Here, the views are unobstructed by others, and the rewards to the viewer are exceptionally great.

We all have a fantasy art collection. I’d like the Asher B. Durand and the orientalist paintings, plus nearly every one of the prints and drawings in the Repartee exhibit. This is a wonderful alternative to football, football, and more football, and the entry fee is worth every penny.

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