Meadows Museum of Art piece to be exhibited in New York City and Chicago

SHREVEPORT, LA – The Meadows Museum of Art at Centenary College is proud to announce the loan of a permanent collection piece to be exhibited in New York and Chicago this year.

Sheep in the Birch Forest by Paula Modersohn-Becker is an oil painting on cardboard that the artist completed in 1903. It was donated to Centenary College in 1961 by Dr. David C. Kimball. The painting depicts a herd of cattle, or sheep, grazing comfortably in a wooded area near a river. It remains in the College’s care, now formally accessioned into the Meadows Museum of Art’s permanent collection.

Modersohn-Becker was a German Expressionist artist who lived from 1876 to 1907. The exhibition Paula Modersohn-Becker: Ich Bin Ich / I Am Me is a collaboration between the Neue Galerie in New York, a museum of early 20th century German and Austrian art and design, and the Art Institute of Chicago. The exhibition is the first retrospective of the artist’s work in the United States.

In April 2023, Meadows Museum director Alissa Klaus received a letter from the directors of the Neue Galerie and the Art Institute of Chicago outlining the scope of the Modersohn-Becker exhibition and requesting the loan of Sheep in the Birch Forest. The painting belongs to a series of forest scenes, and the exhibition organizers noted that it will play an important role in the section of the exhibition dedicated to landscape.

“This is one of the largest and most important works in the series,” the directors wrote in their letter, “showing how Modersohn-Becker was experimenting with simplified, monumental forms and brighter colors after seeing the collection of modern French painting in the Musée de Luxembourg in Paris earlier that year. The foreground shadow and vertical tree trunks create a grid-like effect that counteracts the receding perspective, holding the composition in a state of visual tension and balance.”

The exhibition is co-curated by Dr. Jill Lloyd, an independent scholar, and Dr. Jay A. Clarke, Rothman Family Curator at the Art Institute of Chicago. The accompanying exhibition catalogue will feature essays by the co-curators and additional scholars.

Meadows Museum director Alissa Klaus was able to travel to the Neue Galerie this summer to attend the opening reception for the exhibition.

“The exhibition brings together a number of landscapes - like the one from our collection, drawings, portraits, and self-portraits – which notably contains the first known nude self-portrait of a woman artist,” said Klaus. “I would encourage anyone who is able to see the exhibition in either location to take advantage of the opportunity. We also hope to display the painting in the Meadows as a ‘coming home’ celebration when it returns from loan.”

The exhibition is hanging at the Neue Galerie now through September 9, 2024, and will then be on display at the Art Institute of Chicago from October 15, 2024 through January 15, 2025.


About the Meadows Museum of Art
The Meadows Museum of Art is located on the campus of Centenary College of Louisiana at 2911 Centenary Boulevard in Shreveport, Louisiana. During the academic year, the Museum is open Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. The Museum is closed on Sundays and College holidays, including summer break. For more information or to schedule field trips, call the Museum at 318.869.5169 or visit

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