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Acquired by the State through public subscription in 1920, the painting "The Painter's Studio" (1854-1855) by Gustave Courbet is a universal masterpiece that is part of France's cultural heritage. After surviving more than a century of turbulent history, this 22 meter canvas is now in need of restoration.

As this treasure belongs to everyone in France, the Musée d'Orsay is once again calling on the generosity of the public to help finance its restoration and to enable as many people as possible to participate in this project, beyond the traditional patrons.

As an exception, the work is being restored at the exhibition site and visitors are able to follow the progress of the experts' work on a day-to day-basis, over several months.

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The Louvre kicked off its latest crowd-funding campaign on Tuesday with an appeal for a million euros to help fund the €12.5 million purchase of a jeweled piece of 18th-century furniture, known as the “Table of Peace,” which belonged to a French diplomat who negotiated the end of a Bavarian war.

After two years of budget cuts in state aid for cultural institutions, the Louvre is the second major French museum to turn to Internet fund-raising this month to pay for projects and acquisitions. For the first time, the Musée d’Orsay last week called for €30,000, or about $37,600, in contributions to help finance the €600,000 restoration of Gustave Courbet’s enormous painting of his studio, “L’Atelier du peintre.” By Tuesday, it had collected more than €20,000.

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Gustave Courbet, who was born on June 10, 1819, in Ornans in the Franche-Comté region of eastern France and died December 31, 1877, in La Tour-de-Peilz on Lake Geneva, counts among the most important forerunners of classic modernism. His self-confident demeanor, the emphasis he placed upon his individuality as an artist, his inclination towards provocation and breaking taboos, not to mention his revolutionary painting technique, were to set standards that have influenced generations of artists. The exhibition at the Fondation Beyeler is the first dedicated to Gustave Courbet in Switzerland for over fifteen years.

The show presents pioneering works from all phases of the artist’s career, including a number of paintings that have rarely been seen in public or which indeed for many decades were not publicly accessible at all.

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On November 22, 2013, the Dallas Museum of Art will unveil its new Paintings Conservation Studio as part of the institution’s initiative to create a more comprehensive in-house conservation program. The studio features a digital X-ray system and a center for the study and treatment of artworks as well as research into cutting-edge conservation techniques. The studio, which is enclosed by a glass wall, will be open to visitors so that guests of the museum can observe daily conservation activity.

The opening is accompanied by an exhibition of paintings from the Dallas Museum of Art’s collection including works by Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Childe Hassam and Julian Onderdonk; the paintings will be on view in the Conservation Gallery, which adjoins the studio. A number of works including a painting Gustave Courbet and a Renaissance portrait by Alessandro Allori will be permanently displayed in the studio.

 Maxwell L. Anderson, the Museum’s Eugene McDermott Director, said, “The launch of these new conservation initiatives supports the Dallas Museum of Art’s commitment to responsible stewardship of our collection, and the advancement of conservation research and practices in the region and across the museum field. We look forward to strengthening the Dallas Museum of Art’s culture of conservation with the opening of this new facility and integrating conservation into the fabric of the Museum experience for the benefit and enjoyment of our community.”

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The Allen Memorial Art Museum at Oberlin College in Ohio is presenting the exhibition Regarding Realism, which traces the history of the movement back to its inception in mid-19th century France. The exhibition will include works by Realist pioneers such as Gustave Courbet, Jean-Francois Millet and Charles-Francois Daubigny who shared a goal to depict the world around them, including ordinary people performing day-to-day activities, faithfully.

Regarding Realism includes American artworks as the desire to capture immediate experiences rather than contrived scenes soon caught on across the Atlantic. Highlights include prints by American Regionalists Grant Wood and Thomas Hart Benton as well as gritty, urban scenes by members of the Aschan School like John Sloan and George Luks.

Regarding Realism will be on view at the Allen Memorial Museum through June 22, 2014.

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The McMullen Museum at Boston College is currently hosting the exhibition Courbet: Mapping Realism, which features a selection of paintings from the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium as well as a number of works from American collections. Together, the paintings express the influence of Gustave Courbet, a French painter and leader of the realist movement, on foreign artists.

Mapping Realism expands upon an exhibition that took place in Brussels earlier this year titled Gustave Courbet and Belgium. Organized by the Royal Museums, the show examined the role Belgium played in shaping Courbet’s work and the enthusiastic response the artist received from Belgian artists and collectors alike. Mapping Realism adds Courbet paintings from American collections to illustrate how his work was received in the United States. A selection of paintings by Courbet’s American contemporaries such as Winslow Homer, William Morris Hunt and Eastman Johnson are also included in the exhibition and reveal the influence Courbet had on American painting.

Courbet: Mapping Realism will be on view at the McMullen Museum through December 8, 2013.

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Patrons who are familiar with the permanent collection at Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts might become befuddled upon their next visit to the institution. Some of the museum’s finest works including Pierre-Auguste Renoir’s Dance at Bougival, the pivotal Claude Monet painting, La Japonaise: Camille Monet in a Japanese Costume, five works by Paul Cézanne, five more by Edouard Manet, and two of the masterpieces by Vincent Van Gogh are nowhere to be found.

While some of the works have been lent to museums in the United States, Japan, and Europe to enhance exhibitions, others have been rented to for-profit organizations. Loans between institutions are common practice, but compounded with the large number of works currently out on rent by the MFA, the museum’s own collection appears to be lacking. Currently, 26 of the MFA’s paintings are involved in exhibitions in Italy, which the institution received a hefty yet undisclosed fee for. Some of the works now on view in Italy are two paintings by John Singleton Copley and two Rembrandt portraits as well as single works by Eugène Delacroix, Paolo Veronese, Winslow Homer, John Singer Sargent, Paul Gauguin, Alberto Giacometti, and Pablo Picasso.

While the MFA is excited to be raising revenues, the act of charging fees for lending works has been a source of controversy. One of the main duties of public institutions, including art museums, is to share their collections with the public. Many objectors find the practice of lending works for profit to be in direct opposition to this goal.

Other major holdings that are not presently at the MFA are Diego Velázquez’s Luis de Gongora, two works by El Greco, two more by Gustave Courbet, the museum’s only painting by Edvard Munch, and arguably its greatest work by Edgar Degas, Edmondo and Therese Morbilli. While MFA officials argue that they are bolstering the museum’s international reputation, critics feel the institution is suffering for it.

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When the Japanese collector Michimasa Murauchi decided to sell Gustave Courbet’s painting “Le Chêne de Flagey” (“The Flagey Oak Tree”), it was a chance for the recently renovated Courbet Museum in the artist’s hometown of Ornans to acquire one of his most emblematic works. With support from the French government, the department of Doubs in eastern France, where Ornans is located, will pay €4 million ($5 million) for the painting, which measures 43 by 35 inches and was painted in 1864.

“Le Chêne de Flagey” has a brief and illustrious provenance. The American banker and philanthropist Henry C. Gibson bought it from the artist’s sister Juliette Courbet in 1896, and he bequeathed it to the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. The Philadelphia institution parted with it in 1987, and it entered Murauchi’s private museum outside Tokyo.

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