vernissage was our Word of the Day on 01/17/2013. Hear the podcast!
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Recent Examples of vernissage from the Web
The houses began aggressively hyping a never-ending flow of new inventory, and with it, a jet-set lifestyle of multi-million dollar auctions, exclusive gallery dinners, and VIP art fair vernissages.
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Did You Know?
Vernissage has its roots in the old practice of setting aside a day before an exhibition's opening for artists to varnish and put finishing touches to their paintings-a tradition that reportedly dates to at least 1809, when it was instituted by England's Royal Academy of Arts. (One famous member of the Academy, Joseph Mallord William Turner, was notorious for making major changes to his paintings on this day.) English speakers originally referred to this day of finishing touches simply as "varnishing day," but sometime around 1912 we also began using the French term vernissage (literally, "varnishing"). Today, however, you are more likely to encounter vino than varnish at a vernissage, which is often a gala event marking the opening of an exhibition.
Origin and Etymology of vernissage
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