John Singer Sargent, The Hon. Clare Stuart-Wortley, charcoal on paper (1923)
A major touring exhibition of the Hudson River School — the group of pioneering, 19th-century American landscape painters — is the highlight of the Amon Carter’s 50th anniversary year. The museum has announced its special exhibitions for 2011 — which also happens to be the first year for its new director, Andrew Walker.
The Hudson River exhibition begins its national tour in Fort Worth — with 45 paintings from the extensive collection in the New -York Historical Society, which is undergoing renovation, providing the opportunity for the works to travel. This include paintings by such notable artists as Albert Beirstadt (his 1873 painting, Donner Lake from the Summit, is the image out front), Thomas Cole (including his cycle of five paintings,”The Course of Empire”), Frederick Edwin Church and Asher Brown Durand (the Amon Carter has holdings for all three). The loose-knit group of painters (and like-minded poets) articulated the first distinctively American ideal of landscape painting — establishing a Romantic view of the wilderness as a defining feature of the new country’s identity (not for nothing did Cole title one of his works “The Garden of Eden”).
In addition to the Hudson River show, the Carter will present an exhibition drawn from its holdings on paper — to celebrate the museum’s 50th anniversary. The Allure of Paper will feature more than 100 drawings and watercolors — including works by Winslow Homer, Edward Hopper, Georgia O’Keefe and John Singer Sargent. These have never been show together and are rarely shown in any case because of their sensitivity to light.
And finally, the last decades of the career of artist John Marin will be the subject of John Marin: Modernism at Midcentury. The exhibition of the Maine artist’s drawings and paintings has been co-organized by the Addison Gallery of American Art, Phillips Academy and the Portland Museum of Art.
The full release follows:
Amon Carter Museum of American Art’s 2011 Special Exhibition Schedule
FORT WORTH, Texas—Amon Carter Museum of American Art Director Ron Tyler announced today the special exhibition schedule for 2011, the museum’s 50th Anniversary year. From magnificent landscape paintings of the Hudson River School to the Amon Carter’s exemplary works-on-paper collection to the late work of the great American modernist John Marin, 2011 promises to be a year of extraordinary American art in Fort Worth, says Tyler.
SPECIAL EXHIBITION SCHEDULE
The Hudson River School: Nature and the American Vision
February 26–June 19, 2011
Beginning in the 1820s, the American landscape became a significant theme for artists, who traveled up the Hudson River from New York City to sketch the rugged mountains and tranquil valleys along its banks. With the noted landscape painter Thomas Cole as their inspirational leader, these artists gave impetus to the first self-consciously “American” vision for landscape painting, a movement that would become known as the Hudson River School.
Today, a major repository of Hudson River School paintings is housed at The New-York Historical Society (New York, New York), which is presently undergoing a comprehensive renovation. On this unusual occasion, the esteemed institution is sending 45 of its treasured landscapes on a journey across the nation in 2011, and the first stop is Fort Worth’s Amon Carter Museum of American Art.
Leading figures of the Hudson River School are represented, including Cole, Frederic Edwin Church, Asher B. Durand, John Frederick Kensett, Jasper Francis Cropsey and George Inness, among others. Arranged thematically, the exhibition illuminates the sites that artists depicted as resources for spiritual renewal, as well as potent symbols embodying powerful ideas about nature, culture and history.
The exhibition follows a Grand Tour, originating with classic views of the Catskill Mountains before moving farther afield with paintings of the Adirondacks and White Mountains of New Hampshire. The final rooms of the exhibition feature a medley of paintings of remarkable scenes of the Ecuadorian Andes, the grand panoramas of the American West and the Arcadian visions of Italy.
The highlight of the installation is Cole’s monumental series of five canvases, The Course of Empire, which charts the cyclical history of an imaginary nation. Created between 1834 and 1836, the cycle is breathtaking in its wealth of detail from its initial scene of hunting in the wilderness to its concluding panel portraying the aftermath of an empire raged by its own decadence and corruption.
Accompanied by a full-length publication, The Hudson River School: Nature and the American Vision is organized by the New-York Historical Society and is supported by an indemnity from the Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities. A Tru Vue Optium® Conservation Grant from The Foundation of the American Institute for Conservation of Historic & Artistic Works has supported glazing of the works in the exhibition. The local presentation of this exhibition is supported in part by the Katrine Menzing Deakins Trust and the Crystelle Waggoner Trust; U.S. Trust, Trustee.
The Allure of Paper: Drawings and Watercolors from the Collection
July 9, 2011–October 9, 2011
Organized in celebration of the Amon Carter’s 50th Anniversary, this special exhibition showcases more than 100 drawings and watercolors from the museum’s holdings. These one-of-a-kind works of art range in date from the early 19th century to the late 20th century and chronicle the sweeping changes that occurred in American art over the course of nearly 200 years. From portraiture and history painting to early modernism and abstraction, these objects represent the finest from the museum’s works-on-paper holdings. Artists included in the exhibition include Winslow Homer, Edward Hopper, Georgia O’Keeffe, John Singer Sargent, Ben Shahn and Joseph Stella. Highly sensitive to light, these objects are infrequently shown, and they have never before been exhibited together. An exhibition catalogue is available as well, making the works accessible long after they have returned to the vaults. The exhibition is sponsored by Frost.
John Marin: Modernism at Midcentury
November 5, 2011–January 8, 2012
Reflect on the last 20 years of the art of John Marin (1870–1953), one of America’s foremost modernists. In this special exhibition of 50 drawings and paintings, Marin’s work from 1933 until his death in 1953 will be on view.
Beginning in 1914, Marin drew inspiration from Maine’s forested mountains, picturesque towns, misty harbors and rolling seas; in 1933, he began living part of each year on Cape Split, a remote and sparsely settled northern peninsula in Pleasant Bay.
His Cape Spilt paintings exemplify a renewed enthusiasm for the abstract properties that had always been a feature of his work. Flattening the painterly space and using floating forms and energetic brushwork, Marin transformed the fleeting patterns of the natural world into innovative compositions—patterns that would become some of the primary preoccupations of mid-century American art.
John Marin: Modernism at Midcentury has been co-organized by the Addison Gallery of American Art, Phillips Academy and the Portland Museum of Art, Portland, Maine.
In addition to these special exhibitions, the Amon Carter Museum of American Art will also mount exhibitions of the work of Will Barnet (b. 1911) and photographer Subhankar Banerjee (b. 1967) in 2011. For more information about the Amon Carter and upcoming exhibitions, visit cartermuseum.org.