The ongoing expansion and renovation of the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Dijon has created the opportunity for these exceptional works to travel together to the United States. The tombs of the first and second dukes of Burgundy have been displayed since the early 19th century within the dukes' medieval palace, which now forms part of the Museum. These galleries will be renovated between 2010 and 2012, providing a first and only opportunity to present the full suite of mourners independent of the architectural framework of the tomb itself, allowing the sculptures to be viewed and appreciated as discrete works of art. While the mourners from the tomb of Philip the Bold will remain on view in another portion of the museum, those from the tomb of John the Fearless are making an unprecedented tour. From March 2010 through May 30, 2012 they are traveling to seven American museums: six FRAME (French Regional & American Museum Exchange) member museums and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. They will then make a final stop in Paris, at the Musée National du Moyen-Age / Thermes de Cluny, before they return to Dijon, where they will resume their eloquent perambulations.
This journey also provided a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to create new digital high-resolution, multi-perspective, and stereo 3D photography of these masterpieces, which would supplement and support the exhibition tour. Over a four day period during the mourners' removal from their arcade and before their transit to the U.S., a multi-discipline technical team from FRAME joined Dijon's staff, and staff on site from the Dallas Museum of Art (the American tour organizer) to create an ad hoc photo studio and produce more than 14,000 photographs of the sculptures. This web site is the first fruit of that effort, and will be expanded with more mourner-related resources in the months ahead.
In the future, a library of those images is expected to be made widely available, without charge, to scholars, students, educators and the public. In this way, FRAME, the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Dijon, and the People of Dijon have assured a lasting legacy for the visit of these treasures.
The exhibition is supported by a leadership gift from the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Foundation.Additional support is provided by the Florence Gould Foundation, the Eugene McDermott Foundation, Connie Goodyear Baron and Boucheron.Major corporate support is provided by Bank of the West - Member BNP Paribas Group.
The exhibition is supported by an indemnity from the Federal Council on the Arts and Humanities.
The Mourners Photography Project is made possible by a generous grant from The Samuel H. Kress Foundation.
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