By Mike Dougherty

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A new exhibit opens next week at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, featuring priceless works of impressionism, some never before seen in the United States.

Discovering the Impressionists” is a breathtaking display of works by Monet, Renoir, Manet, and others.

Co-curator Jenny Thompson says it took five years to collect the pieces and put this exhibit together.

“There are nine galleries, and there 96 works of art on view,” she said today.

A large percentage of the paintings were once owned by French art dealer Paul Durand-Ruel, who helped impressionism thrive in the 19th century.

“One of the highlights of the exhibition are three full-length paintings by Renoir of dancing couples,” Thompson says, “incredibly joyful depictions of modern French life.”

Hear the extended interview in this CBS Philly podcast (runs 3:19)…


This exhibit will not be seen in any other American city.  Thompson says it’s fitting to be here because Philadelphia collectors were some of the first to buy Impressionist art.

It opens June 24th.