Dina Vierny: Art Dealer And Collector
Dina Vierny (1919-2009) is an iconic woman and has been a great source of inspiration in the art world, having been Aristide Maillol’s favorite muse and model during the last 10 years of his life.
Born in Bessarabia (now Moldova), Vierny was born to Russian Jewish parents. They were both musicians and fled the Bolshevik regime through Odessa, Berlin, and Warsaw, to ultimately settle in Paris in 1926, on Rue Monge. When she was 15, she met Aristide Maillol, who was 73 at the time in the French capital. Here, she also came into contact with artists and poets like André Breton, Paul Valéry, and André Gide. These encounters introduced Vierny to the artistic community. She devoted her life to the conservation of Maillol’s work and established herself as an admirable collector, art dealer and famous gallery owner.
Here, discover three amazing institutions founded by Dina Vierny in France, and the exhibitions they will be hosting in autumn 2022.
Galerie Dina Vierny
Devastated by the death of Malliol and her father in close succession, Vierny was encouraged by Henry Matisse and art dealer Marie-Jeanne Bucher to open her art gallery in 1947 in Paris.
Located in the Saint-Germain-des-Prés district, at 36 rue Jacob, Dina’s gallery quickly became a significant part of Parisian artistic life with its first exhibition of Maillol. Vierny then went on to exhibit Kandinsky, Rodin, Matisse, and Poliakoff.
In the 1970s, Dina was one of the rare Western collectors who penetrated the borders of the USSR and discovered nonconformist art there. Vierny smuggled the works of well-known artists like Kabakov, Yankilevsky, Rabin, and many others out of the Soviet Union and organized the famous “Avant-garde russe – Moscou 73” exhibition at her gallery. She played an instrumental role in familiarising the West with the phenomenal works of these artists.
Today, Dina’s grandsons Pierre and Alexandre Lorquin run the gallery. It continues to be a significant landmark in the culture of Paris. After its summer closure, the gallery invites you to a tribute to Franco-Israeli artist Ra'anan Levy on September 9.
Musée Maillol in Paris
In January 1995, the President of France, François Mitterrand, inaugurated the Musée Maillol in Paris, 61 rue de Grenelle. Located in a beautiful building marked by the splendid Fountain of the Four Seasons (Edme Bouchardon, 1739-1745), this museum is Dina Vierny's most important project. It is the culmination of thirty years of her work. In 1955, Dina moved into a flat in this building. Over the years, she purchased the entire building and renovated it.
Today, this Parisian museum houses the most important collection of Maillol’s works. The permanent collection at the museum includes the artist's works in sculpture, painting, drawing, terracotta and tapestry. Temporary exhibitions of great contemporary artists are also organised at the museum regularly. If you are looking for an exquisite artistic experience, do not forget to check out the travelling exhibition "Hyperrealism. Ceci n'est pas un corps" that will open at the Musée Maillol on 7th September 2022. The exhibit will feature sculptures by George Segal, Maurizio Cattelan, Berlinde De Bruyckere, among other leading artists.
Musée Maillol à Banyuls-sur-Mer
This summer, we encourage you to discover the beautiful southern French region of Occitania. Dina Vierny opened her second museum dedicated to the artist Aristide Maillol here in 1994. Located near Maillol's birthplace Banyuls-sur-Mer, in the heart of the Roume valley, it houses Maillol’s works in a small and isolated farmhouse where he worked daily. His garden grave lies under under his sublime sculpture ‘Méditerranée’ (1905).
Temporary exhibitions are regularly organised at the museum and until October 30, the Maillol Museum in Banyuls-sur-Mer will be holding the ‘1968 la révolte s'affiche’ exhibition. It features posters produced between May and June 1968 by artists and students at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts and other French universities.
Credits for the Main photo: Dina Vierny with Aristide Maillol in Banyuls-sur-Mer, 1943 by Louis Carré © Courtesy Galerie Louis Carré & Cie