Currently retired, Uta Staley spent most of her career working in the travel industry. Although traveling is still one of her most enjoyable hobbies, Uta Staley has taken up several other interests during her retirement, and she particularly enjoys going to the opera and viewing art by Impressionist artists.
Often considered to be one of painting’s first distinctly modern movements, Impressionism first developed in the 1860s in Paris before quickly spreading throughout Europe and to the United States. Artists who belonged to this movement focused on capturing the momentary, sensory effect of a scene by trying to paint what the eye perceived rather than what the brain understood.
One of the most famous Impressionists was Claude Monet. Considered to have fathered the movement when his work Impression, Sunrise was shown at an anti-establishment exhibit, Monet was a student of Charles Gleyre, through whom he met other artists who shared his Impressionist style, including Frederic Bazille and Pierre-August Renoir. Renoir was another leading Impressionist who focused much of his work on feminine beauty. Much of his work featured candid people as the main subjects, and his work first began to be recognized when it was exhibited in the first formal Impressionist art show.
Another major Impressionist was Edgar Degas, who was recognized for both his paintings and his sculptures. He was one of the founding members of the movement, but he preferred to be called a realist rather than an Impressionist. While his early works often focused on realistic depictions of historical subjects, Degas’ later works changed to focus more of women at work and dance, and took on a more Impressionist look. Mary Cassatt, who lived much of her life in France despite having been born in America, began contributing to the movement after meeting Degas. Her work also portrays women, but focuses more on their social and personal lives.
Uta Staley, a native of Germany and a long-time resident of Chicago, Illinois, devotes much of her time to supporting the arts in her adopted city.