Jules Tavernier masterwork painting
Jules Tavernier (American, born France, 1844–1889), "Dance in a Subterranean Round- house at Clear Lake, California," 1878. Oil on canvas, 48 × 721⁄4 in. (121.9 × 183.5 cm). The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Marguerite and Frank A. Cosgrove Jr. Fund, 2016 (2016.135). Image © Metropolitan Museum of Art | Pomo artist (Northern California)

Learn about an exhibition that brings together approximately 60 pieces that tell the story of this rediscovered masterwork.

Recently opened at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the exhibition “Jules Tavernier and the Elem Pomo” explores the intercultural exchange between American artist Jules Tavernier (1844–1889), born and trained in France, and the Indigenous Pomo community of Elem at Clear Lake in northern California.

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Investigating Tavernier’s life and career, the exhibition is centered on his rediscovered masterwork, “Dance in a Subterranean Roundhouse at Clear Lake, California” (1878), which depicts the mfom Xe, or “people dance,” of the Elem Pomo in an underground roundhouse.

The exhibition brings together approximately 60 works by a range of artists—paintings, prints, watercolors, and photographs—to tell the story of Tavernier’s travels through Nebraska, Wyoming, California, and the Hawaiian Islands.

These works will be shown alongside a choice selection of historical and contemporary Pomo basketry and regalia to celebrate the cultural sovereignty of the Pomo peoples and highlight their continued cultural presence.

Following its presentation at The Met (through November 28, 2021), the exhibition will travel to the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, de Young Museum from December 18, 2021 through April 17, 2022.

For more details, please visit The Met’s website at metmuseum.org.

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