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Word of the Day
Friday, March 25, 2016

Definitions for vernissage

  1. a reception at a gallery for an artist whose show is about to open to the public.
  2. Also called varnishing day. the day before the opening of an art exhibition traditionally reserved for the artist to varnish the paintings.

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Citations for vernissage
I went to the vernissage taking with me a friend, the invitation I had been given admitting two. We went very early. I had been told to go early otherwise we would not be able to see anything, and there would be no place to sit … Gertrude Stein, The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas, 1933
Mama planned her fête for the night before vernissage, the grand social opening of the show. Historically, vernissage, or varnishing day, represented the moment when artists put the finishing touches on their pictures that already hung on the Salon's walls … Gioia Diliberto, I Am Madame X, 2003
Origin of vernissage
Vernissage comes from the French term of the same spelling, which translates literally as "a varnishing, touching up." It entered English in the early 1900s.