Impressionism: A Centenary Exhibition
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As soon as the Musees Nationaux de France began to organize this exhibition, it became evident that it would be difficult to carry through such an enterprise satisfactorily without the help of an associate in the United States, where so many masterpieces of the Impressionist school are to be found. The choice of the Metropolitan Museum of Art was the result not only of the size and quality of its collection of Impressionist works but also — and perhaps more importantly — of the close and friendly relations that have long existed between the Metropolitan and the Reunion des Musees Nationaux de France, especially the Louvre.
Accordingly, an agreement was worked out for a joint effort to avoid competition for loans, combine the institutions' powers of persuasion, and possibly facilitate matters of transportation and insurance.
We feel that these first steps in international cooperation open the way to arresting or at least attenuating the competitive struggle that exists between the great museums of the world, a struggle financially burdensome and unacceptable when practiced by institutions that ultimately perform the same cultural task.