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From Crisis to Color: Derrière le Miroir/Behind the Mirror


June 24, 2023 @ 11:00 am
October 8, 2023 @ 5:00 pm
MMoA is a participating museum of the CT Summer at the Museum program.


MMoA members
Children 12 and under
Military/veteran families (with ID)

CT resident children and teens ages 18 and younger plus one accompanying adult (with ID) until September 4, 2023.
Our participation in CT Summer at the Museum is supported by Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development’s Office of the Arts in partnership with Connecticut Humanities with funding from the federal American Rescue Plan Act as allocated by the state legislature.

Tuesdays & Fridays – 1pm

Tuesdays, August 15, 22, and 29: MMoA galleries open until 7pm, with a guided tour of the exhibition offered at 5:30pm


This summer, MMoA continues its exploration of the theme of “Art in Common” by celebrating the visionary innovation of Galerie Maeght in Paris, putting original lithographs by Calder, Miró, Chagall, Matisse, Giacometti, and others into the hands of ordinary people. The Maeght Gallery’s success in reviving and expanding the role of art in everyday life after the devastation of World War II placed it among the most influential international galleries of the modern era.

The remarkable art-dealer, curator, and publisher Aimé Maeght (pronounced “MAHG”), helped reinvent the art world from the postwar rubble of the Second World War. His unique publication, Derrière le Miroir (“Behind the Mirror”) gave artists complete freedom to create original lithographs for public circulation. Amidst the ruin and demoralization of war, Maeght knew, art would find a way: to mourn inexpressible loss and bring solace; to reclaim freedom of expression; and to foster new means of expression. From Crisis to Color: Derrière le Miroir (“Behind the Mirror”) traces cultural regeneration in the terrible aftermath of world war.

As exiled artists and writers returned to France, Derrière Le Miroir (DLM) offered them a forum dedicated to making art as widely accessible as possible. Each DLM catalogue included one or more original lithographs by the artist(s) then on exhibition in Galerie Maeght. Non-editioned, unbound, and unsigned, the catalogues offered unprecedented access to art by such masters as Henri Matisse, Marc Chagall, Alexander Calder, Joan Miró, Alberto Giacometti, Georges Braque, André Derain, and others. In turn, the artists worked with writers and poets to create an unparalleled blend of art and literature. “I got the idea that great painters should do limited series of lithos,” said Aimé Maeght, “so that the greatest number of people could buy them.” In all, 253 catalogues were published from 1946 to 1982—the final catalogue served as a memorial, following his death in 1981.

In 2008, at an exhibition about Derrière le Miroir at the Royal Academy of Arts in London, Aimé Maeght’s granddaughter, Yoyo Maeght explained: An original lithograph is not a reproduction of a drawing or a painting. Even if it’s small, you have ‘le geste’ – the actual movement of the hand of the artist. It is better than the reproduction of paintings in a book… The artists all loved this idea because they could create something, a direct record of what they were doing at the moment, with no filter… For each exhibition, copies arrived just a few hours before the opening. Everyone in the gallery—even my grandfather—saw the issue for the first time then!

By circulating innovative works of art through the shattered cultural systems of Europe, Aimé Maeght fostered vigorous new forms of creative expression to address post-war reality. These forms prioritized direct, intuitive connections with the viewer over description or representation.

While Braque’s rich and somber late works and Giacometti’s timeless solitary figures acknowledge the darkest side of wartime experience, for example, Chagall’s unforgettable dreams of a vanished past embraced and consoled a public scarcely able to express its losses. Miro’s exuberant and poetic abstractions and the brilliant, floating shapes of Calder reclaim freedom of expression, and a new joie de vivre.

Fostered by the prestige of the artists it presented, Derrière le Miroir became, in turn, an incubator for emerging artists. Generations later, it continues to fascinate and inspire.


The Kitchings Family Foundation
Todd Brady and Lynn Eglington
Bill Hargreaves
Edward and Mary Lord Foundation
Cindy and Bob Martin
Melinda Elliott Carlisle
Liane and Don Crawford
Mary and Paul Fox
The Sartori Morales Group, Morgan Stanley Wealth Management
Tom and Candy Sanford
Karen Stone and Dave Schulz
Foxwoods Resort Casino
Saltwater Farm Vineyard
Mary Anne Stets and H. Wes Maxwell
Harry and Elizabeth White
Adam Young
Janie and Alix Stanley
Washington Trust Wealth Management
Bridge Marketing
Jim and Jonatha Castle
Michele Kirk and Chris McWilliams
Harbor Heights Apartment Homes
Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation
Carol Swift/Swift-Morris Interiors
The Valenti Family of Dealerships
Garon Camassar
V. Susan Fisher
Mystic River Paintworks
Will and Melissa Cox
Polly Spring and Breck Perkins




Featuring hand-pulled lithographs by the following artists:

GEORGES BRAQUE (1882-1963)

POL BURY (1922-2005)


MARC CHAGALL (1887-1985)

ANDRÉ DERAIN (1880-1954)



HENRI MATISSE (1869-1954)

JOAN MIRÓ (1893-1983)



PIERRE TAL-COAT (1905-1985)

ANTONI TÀPIES (1923-2012)

RAOUL UBAC (1910-1985)


Featured Image: Alexander Calder (1887-1976), untitled lithograph on paper, 1968. Derrière le Miroir Issue #173 (detail). MMoA permanent collection.