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2023 Exhibition will showcase Renoir masterpieces

2023 Exhibition will showcase Renoir masterpieces

Friday 17 September 2021

2023 Exhibition will showcase Renoir masterpieces

Friday 17 September 2021

A world-leading Renoir exhibition is being organised that will develop Guernsey's international brand, build new connections through cultural diplomacy and engage with the community about the island's unique chapter in art history.

The IoD’s September breakfast seminar, sponsored by Butterfield, discussed how Guernsey’s unique Renoir heritage can develop the island’s ‘country brand’ and act as an economic enabler for the Bailiwick.

David Ummels, a multicultural entrepreneur, art collector and cultural ambassador, is the driving force behind ‘Renoir 2023’ - a collaboration between Art for Guernsey and a number of prestigious international museums, including the Musée des Impressionnismes de Giverny, the Musée D’Orsay, the Musée Marmottan and the Musée Picasso.

“Our unique Renoir heritage gives us the opportunity to further develop the Bailiwick as a cultural hub - whose influence is of global importance,” said Mr Ummels.

The exhibition will showcase the impact Guernsey had on Renoir’s career and artistic style - and will include “15 to 20” Renoir masterpieces borrowed from international museums and collections from around the globe.


Pictured: Mr Ummels is the Founder of not-for-profit organisation Art For Guernsey. 

Mr Ummels said it provides Guernsey with a unique opportunity to capitalise on its connection with one of the world’s leading impressionist artists, attracting a global audience.

He spoke about three main elements: the importance of cultural diplomacy, how that helps you to develop your country brand externally, and how that increased trust creates a more open business relationship, cutting down on red tape.

“Through culture you can show them your soul,” said Mr Ummels. “You are hoping to build bridges and build trust. Everyone is using cultural diplomacy to promote wider interests, through large-scale, unique opportunities like this we can achieve a lot of things.”

On the island, Art For Guernsey takes important artwork into schools to stimulate ideas, inspire the younger generation, and then build on that through the sponsorship of annual awards and scholarships for London-based training opportunities.

Externally. Art For Guernsey collaborates with international artists, bringing some to the island, while also promoting the island to European Parliaments and finding a story that links Guernsey to other nations, with a good example being a recent cultural link-up with the Czech Republic. 


Pictured: Art For Guernsey curated an interactive exhibition which documented the reflection point Renoir found in Guernsey that changes his career and life. It was free to the community to access. It was attended by 3,000 people. 

Mr Ummels said that, reputationally, the island still has a lot of work to do and that culture plays a part in accelerating that progress. 

“In Europe they are talking about us like tax havens and ten years ago we were, but we are not anymore. We have this tale we have to deal with and that is affecting our country brand. 

“In France, they would not create a corporate structure here because there is too much Guernsey-bashing there”.

Art For Guernsey hit a milestone last year when, shortly before the first Covid lockdown, it syndicated a group of local art enthusiasts that acquired an original, limited edition Renoir painted in Guernsey for around half a million pounds. 

It has since been taken into schools, exhibited for free at different venues and has been used to engage the community with one of the masterpieces behind the Renoir connection.

It is one of the pieces of artwork that will be showcased in 2023. 

“This is more than just curating assets,” he said of the exhibition, which promises to be world-leading.

“If you live here in autumn 2023 there will be no chance to miss it. There will also be a number of satellite and bespoke events.

“This is a unique opportunity for us to tell the world who we are and tell the world our country brand of amazing natural views, amazing community values and how Guernsey influenced Renoir.”

Wendy Dorey, Chair of the IoD in Guernsey, called on the business community to support the event, which will soon be launching a fundraising campaign.

“This exciting initiative gives Guernsey a real opportunity to punch above its weight," she said. "The importance of cultural diplomacy should not be underestimated, especially as it has been proven to increase exports, attract inward investment and boost tourism.”

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