Museum and Library Closures

The New-York Historical Society will be closed on September 23, and select spaces will be closed September 24. For details, please visit our calendar.

Making American Taste: Gallery Tour 2

Speaker: 
Linda S. Ferber
Mon, December 19th, 2011 | 11:00 am

Event details

In the nineteenth century, the place of the arts in a democracy was a hotly debated topic in the United States. The new exhibition Making American Taste: Narrative Art for a New Democracy integrates the broad range of styles and narrative themes — from history, literary and religious subjects to the more familiar rural and domestic genres — through which Americans were expected to attain cultural refinement. Join Senior Art Historian Linda S.

Making American Taste: Gallery Tour 1

Speaker: 
Linda S. Ferber
Mon, November 28th, 2011 | 11:00 am

Event details

In the 19th century, the place of the arts in a democracy was a hotly debated topic in the United States. The new exhibition Making American Taste: Narrative Art for a New Democracy integrates the broad range of styles and narrative themes — from history, literary and religious subjects to the more familiar rural and domestic genres — through which Americans were expected to attain cultural refinement. Join Senior Art Historian Linda S.

The Luman Reed Gallery: A History Of Art Collecting In 19th-Century New York

Mar 1 2005 - Apr 30 2005

After a two-year hiatus, the art collection formed by Luman Reed, one of New York's pioneering 19th-century collectors, reclaimed its pride of place in the picture galleries on the second floor, just off Dexter Hall from March 2004 through April 2005. Thomas Cole's "The Course of Empire" and other works by the founder of the Hudson River School took center stage, along side seminal paintings by Asher Brown Durand, William Sidney Mount and George Whiting Flagg. Luman Reed's collection occupies a special place in the development of American art; in the history of taste, collecting, and patronage; as well as in the history of New York and the New-York Historical Society. The donation of the collection in 1858, together with the holdings of The New-York Gallery of the Fine Arts, transformed the Historical Society into New York City's premiere art museum in an era before the establishment of such museum giants as the Metropolitan and the Whitney. In addition to featuring Reed's collection, the exhibition also explored the history of New York art collecting in the nineteenth century, highlighting other important art patrons, including Thomas Jefferson Bryan and Robert L. Stuart, whose collections augment the painting holdings of the Historical Society.

Making American Taste: Narrative Art for a New Democracy

Nov 11 2011 - Sep 9 2012

Making American Taste features fifty-five works from the New-York Historical Society’s collection that cast new light on both the history of American art and the formation of American cultural ideals during a crucial period from the 1830s to the late 1860s. By integrating history, literary and religious subjects with now better-known examples of rural and domestic genre, the exhibition explores the broad range of styles and narrative themes that appealed to nineteenth-century Americans seeking cultural refinement.

Click on the painting below to learn about the people depicted.

Louis Lang (1814–1893), Return of the 69th (Irish) Regiment, N.Y.S.M. from the Seat of War, 1862-1863. Oil on canvas. New-York Historical Society, Gift of Louis Lang, 1886.3. Photo courtesy Williamstown Art Conservation Center, 2011

The exhibition includes Louis Lang’s The Return of the 69th (Irish) Regiment, N.Y.S.M. from the Seat of War, a Civil War masterpiece rediscovered, as well as works by such canonical artists as Benjamin West, Asher B.

Nature and the American Vision: The Hudson River School

Sep 21 2012 - Feb 20 2013

Please note the closing date has been changed from February 21
After a national tour, the forty-five iconic works, including Thomas Cole’s five-part series The Course of Empire and other masterworks by Cole, John F. Kensett, Albert Bierstadt, Jasper F. Cropsey, Asher B. Durand and others will once again be on display at the New-York Historical Society. This exhibition showcases the extraordinary depth and richness of the New-York Historical Society’s landscape collections, especially paintings by artists of the Hudson River School. Rising to eminence in New York during the mid-nineteenth century, this loosely knit group of artists, together with like-minded poets and writers, forged a self-consciously “American” landscape vision and literary voice. Both were grounded in the exploration of the natural world as a resource for spiritual renewal and as an expression of cultural and national identity. 

Thomas Cole (1801–1848), Catskill Creek, NY, 1845. Oil on canvas. New-York Historical Society, The Robert L. Stuart Collection, S-157

The Hudson River and the natural wonders along its banks had a long history of associations with earlier inhabitants, including Native Americans, the Dutch, and the British. Key battles of the American Revolution were fought along the river’s course. Such historical associations amid the evocative terrain of the Catskills, Adirondacks, and White Mountains enriched regional sites throughout the Hudson River Valley and New England, inspiring homegrown schools of painting and literature grounded in their scenery and history.

Making American Taste: Narrative Art for a New Democracy

This tour is now fully booked

Making American Taste: Narrative Art for a New Democracy provides a new perspective on American art by approaching narrative subject matter through the lens of taste as it was defined roughly from 1825 to 1870, when debates over the role of American art addressed not just content, but the role art should take outside of the European tradition. By integrating history, literary and religious subjects with now better-known examples of rural and domestic genre, this exhibition introduces to modern audiences the broad range of styles and narrative themes which appealed to nineteenth-century Americans seeking cultural refinement.
 

William Sidney Mount (1807-1868), Bargaining for a Horse (Farmers Bargaining), 1835. Oil on canvas. New-York Historical Society, Gift of the New-York Gallery of the Fine Arts, 1858.59

The exhibition drawn from the New-York Historical Society’s collection of narrative art includes fifty-five works by such canonical artists as Benjamin West, Asher B. Durand, William Sidney Mount, and Eastman Johnson. Additionally, significant works will also be on exhibition by artists who were major figures in their own time (such as Daniel Huntington, Henry Peters Gray and T. H. Matteson), but who have been virtually ignored in current American art surveys.

Nature and the American Vision: The Hudson River School

Nature and the American Vision: The Hudson River School features forty-five iconic works including Thomas Cole’s five-part series: The Course of Empire and other masterworks by Cole, John F. Kensett, Albert Bierstadt, Jasper F. Cropsey, Asher B. Durand and many others.

Thomas Cole (1801-1848), Catskill Creek, N.Y., 1845. Oil on canvas. The New-York Historical Society, The Robert L. Stuart Collection, S-157

Tour Schedule

Venue Dates
Fenimore Museum of Art (Cooperstown, NY) June 29, 2013-September 29, 2013
Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) September 7, 2014 – January 4, 2015

The Hudson River to Niagara Falls: Nineteenth-century American Landscape Paintings from the New-York Historical Society

Drawn from the treasures of the New-York Historical Society’s permanent collection, Hudson River Masterpieces showcases nineteenth-century landscape paintings by the artists of the Hudson River School. The exhibition includes celebrated works by Thomas Cole and Asher B. Durand, founders of the American landscape school. Other featured artists include: John Frederick Kensett, Jasper Francis Cropsey, Francis Augustus Silva, Sanford Robinson Gifford, John W. Casilear, Jervis McEntee, William T. Richards and William L. Sonntag.

Jasper Francis Cropsey (1823-1900), Greenwood Lake, New Jersey, 1871. Oil on canvas. New-York Historical Society, The Robert L. Stuart Collection, S-156

Tour Schedule

Venue Dates
The Phillips Museum of Art (Lancaster, PA) September 13, 2013 – December 15, 2013

 

 

Resources

A richly illustrated survey of the New-York Historical Society's landscape collection,&

The American Landscapes of Asher B. Durand (1796 – 1886)

 
The American Landscapes of Asher B. Durand, featuring over 100 works including paintings, drawings, engravings, and daguerreotypes, recreates Durand’s milieu by displaying his own works in the context of those by, or portraying, his circle of fellow artists, writers, and patrons. Asher Brown Durand (1796-1886) was one of the most important American artists of the 19th century. He was a central figure as an artist, as a founder of art institutions, and as the acknowledged leader of the American landscape school from his election as president of the National Academy of Design in 1845 until his death at the age of 90. Durand’s six-decade career began with the earliest efforts of the American artists, writers and patrons to construct a national cultural identity. Durand participated from the very beginning: first as a master banknote and reproductive engraver; then as a portrait painter recording the features of founding fathers as well as the mercantile and cultural elite of antebellum New York before turning to landscape painting.
 

Asher Brown Durand (1796-1886), The Solitary Oak (The Old Oak), 1844. Oil on canvas. New-York Historical Society, Gift of The New-York Gallery of the Fine Arts, 1858.75

 Tour Schedule

Venue Dates
Fundaciόn Juan March (Madrid, Spain) October 1, 2010–January 9, 2011

For more information, please e-mail travelingexhibitions@nyhistory.org

Special Collections >

Teaser: 

The New-York Historical Society Museum collection numbers over 60,000 objects, including works of art and artifacts spanning four centuries. Among its holdings are particularly rich and diverse collections that illuminate the historical and cultural life of New York City and the nation.

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