Skip to main content

Matisse in the 1930s

October 19, 2022–January 29, 2023

By 1930, Henri Matisse had achieved significant international renown, yet he found himself in a deep creative slump. The turning point came in the fall of that year with a commission to decorate the main gallery of the Barnes Foundation, then located in a suburb of Philadelphia. The resulting monumental mural, The Dance (1930–33), turned Matisse’s artistic practice around.

Matisse in the 1930s explores changes in the artist’s work across multiple formats, including easel and decorative painting, sculpture, printmaking, drawing, and the illustrated book. The exhibition also addresses the methods of working that renewed Matisse’s style, as well as his modern renderings of mythological themes from antiquity, his depictions of female models in the studio, and his partnership with his studio manager and model, Lydia Delectorskaya.

Main Building


Matisse in the 1930s is organized by the Philadelphia Museum of Art; the Musée de l’Orangerie, Paris; and the Musée Matisse Nice.


In Philadelphia, the exhibition is made possible by the Annenberg Foundation Fund for Major Exhibitions, The Women’s Committee of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Gloria and Jack Drosdick Fund for Special Exhibitions, the Harriet and Ronald Lassin Fund for Special Exhibitions, the Jill and Sheldon Bonovitz Fund for Exhibitions, Robbi and Bruce Toll, and the Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation.


Matthew Affron, Muriel and Philip Berman Curator of Modern Art; Cécile Debray, president of the Musée National Picasso-Paris; and Claudine Grammont, director of the Musée Matisse Nice

Check out other exhibitions

View full calendar