Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A private showing held before the opening of an art exhibition.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A private viewing of an art exhibition before it opens to the public.

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

French, from vernis, varnish, from Old French; see varnish.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From French vernissage, derived from the earlier habit of the artists to varnish their paintings the day before the opening of an exhibition.

Examples

Comments

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  • 'Vernis' is French for 'varnish'. Oil paintings were (and still are, I think) protected by a coat of varnish. Folkloric-ly, this would take place in the last-minute rush, just before an opening, leading to the 'preview' of a collection being the 'varnishing'. Presumably with the artists friends pitching in.

    July 16, 2008

  • A private showing or preview of an art collection.

    May 11, 2008