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Wednesday, 18 December 2013 18:54

Major Bronze Exhibition Opens at the Met

The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York is currently presenting the exhibition ‘The American West in Bronze: 1850-1925.’ The show explores the aesthetic tastes, technical achievements and cultural attitudes that led American artists to create bronze statuettes depicting scenes of the new frontier.

The works on view cover a variety of themes including nostalgia and the struggles faced by Native Americans, the region’s wildlife and settlers during the transformative time. The exhibition’s 65 sculptures and three paintings are divided into four sections -- American Indians, Wildlife, Cowboys and Settlers. Highlights include James Earle Fraser’s ‘End of the Trail,’ Alexander Phimister Proctor’s ‘Stalking Panther,’ and Frederic Remington’s ‘The Mountain Man.”

‘The American West in Bronze: 1850-1925’ will be on view at the Met through April 13, 2014.

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On Saturday, May 11, 2013, the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art In Bentonville, Arkansas launched two exhibitions dedicated to American genre painting. Genre painting, which became popular during the mid-19th century, involved the depiction ordinary scenes of everyday life. As religious artworks waned in prevalence, genre painting struck a chord with the public as they could easily relate to the narratives, which spanned various races, regions, and classes.

American Encounters: Genre Painting and Everyday Life presents five paintings by a handful of the most well known artists from the movement including George Caleb Bingham (1811-1879), Eastman Johnson (1824-1906), and Arthur Fitzwilliam Tait (1819-1905). Between Bingham, who painted scenes of life on the American frontier, Johnson, who captured the true spirits of the people of New England, the western frontier, the slavery-ridden south, and prominent Americans, and Tait, whose subject of choice was wildlife, the three artists come together to communicate a varied and comprehensive American experience.

The works in American Encounters are accompanied by two paintings from the Louvre – one is from the Dutch genre painting school and another from the English interpretation of the movement. American Encounters is also complemented b the exhibition Genre Scenes on Paper from Crystal Bridges’ Permanent Collection.

Genre Scenes on Paper provides a sampling of the museum’s 19th century watercolors and drawings, many of which have never been on public view. The exhibition explores themes of work and leisure in the city and country and features works by Winslow Homer (1836-1910), Thomas Waterman Wood (1823-1903), and John Lewis Krimmel (1786-1821). Just as the paintings in American Encounters, these works come together to show how a variety of artists interpreted daily life in a young country still coming into its own.

American Encounters and Genre Scenes on Paper will be on view at the Crystal Bridges Museum through August 12, 2013. American Encounters, which is the second exhibition in a four-year partnership between Crystal Bridges, the Louvre and the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, Georgia, will then travel to the High where it will be on view from September 14, 2013 through January 14, 2014.

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