The history of the museum

The musée des impressionnismes in Giverny, a village in Normandy, is devoted to the history of Impressionism and its ramifications, and in particular the artists’ colony at Giverny and in the Seine Valley.

Giverny, a centre for artists

Claude Monet moved to Giverny in 1883. Although he never encouraged other artists to follow him, the village quickly attracted a circle of Americans who were keen to put into practice Impressionist techniques amid the landscapes of Normandy.

The creation of the musée des impressionnismes Giverny

In the sixteen years of its existence, the musée d’art américain Giverny , which was founded by Daniel J. Terra in 1992, created a unique programme of exhibitions, publications, conferences, talks and residencies for art historians and artists on the theme of American art. In 2009, a partnership between the Terra Foundation for American Art, the Conseil Général de l’Eure, the Conseil Général de la Seine-Maritime, the Haute-Normandie region, the Communauté de Communes de Vernon and the Ville de Vernon, as well as the Musée d’Orsay, led to the birth of the musée des impressionnismes Giverny , which replaced the musée d’art américain Giverny. The Terra Foundation is still actively represented on the board of directors and continues to be involved in the museum’s development by according it loans and financial aid, and by organising exhibitions of American art. The Musée d’Orsay provides curatorial expertise and implements a loans policy featuring works of exceptional quality.

Why create a museum of ‘impressionisms’?

Since 2009, the aim of the musée des impressionnismes Giverny has been to promote appreciation of the origins, geographical spread and influence of Impressionism. It enables visitors to discover the history of Impressionism and Post-Impressionism, while also revealing their impact on 20th-century art. Each season at the museum is structured around two temporary exhibitions. Through these monographic and thematic exhibitions, the museum focuses on the artists who left an indelible mark on the art of the late 19th century and early 20th century in France, as well as those who contributed in less conspicuous ways. The museum also aims to bring works back to the place that originally inspired them. Furthermore, it explores in depth the impact of Impressionism outside France. Finally, the programme also embraces contemporary art, juxtaposing works with the aim of providing fresh perspectives.

Between 2012 and 2017, to supplement the exhibitions, the museum hosted a display of works titled Monet in the Middle, centred on this leading figure of Impressionism, and on the painters’ colony and the Seine Valley. In 2018, in conjunction with the exhibition Japonisms / Impressionisms, organised to mark the 150th anniversary of the beginning of the Meiji era, which saw the opening of diplomatic relations between Japan and the West, this installation has been replaced by a display of works by the artist Hiramatsu Reiji, which reflect the strong influence of Monet.


Find out more about the museum

Discover the museum in 2 minutes


The exhibitions

The 2020 exhibitions

> Plein air. From Corot to Monet from March 27 to June 28
> The Studio of Nature, 1860-1910. The Terra Collection in Context from July 10 to November 1

Past exhibitions

> Exhibitions from 2009 to 2019

Organisation of the museum

> Founding members
> The Board of Directors