Published: October 14, 2003
One of the most significant collections of American paintings in the world — a sampling of 86 distinguished and enduring paintings from San Francisco’s de Young Museum — will travel to the East Coast for an exhibition at Winterthur from October 11 to February 1.
“American Accents, 1670-1945: Masterworks from the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, Featuring the Rockefeller Collection” offers a comprehensive overview of more than three centuries of American art, from the colonial period through World War II. Forty-two of the paintings were donated by Mr and Mrs John D. Rockefeller III.
“American Accents” includes paintings by such preeminent artists as John Singleton Copley, Charles Willson Peale and Thomas Cole, along with the late Nineteenth Century works by Albert Bierstadt, Thomas Eakins, Winslow Homer, John Singer Sargent and Mary Cassatt. Twentieth Century artists, such as Marsden Hartley, Georgia O’Keeffe and Horace Pippin, are also represented.
The paintings range from portraits and still lifes to landscapes and seascapes. Many of the works, such as Charles Willson Peale’s “Self-portrait,” circa 1822, and George Caleb Bingham’s “Boatmen on the Missouri,” 1846, are icons of American art. The oldest and rarest work in the exhibition, “The Mason Children: David, Joanna and Abigail” by Boston’s Freake-Gibbs Painter, is one of only 35 surviving American paintings of the Seventeenth Century.
“This extraordinary survey pays homage to the most significant movements in American art over the past three centuries,” said Anne Verplanck, curator of paintings at Winterthur and host curator of the exhibition. “It includes Hudson River School landscapes, genre scenes, trompe l’oeil still lifes and the works of important American realists, impressionists, and modernists. Together these paintings make visible the individual experiences, communal identities and national dialogues that have shaped American history.”
The touring exhibition resulted from a major construction project at the de Young Museum, which was severely damaged by the 1989 earthquake. While a new facility is being built, museum leadership opted to send the paintings on a cross-country tour rather than put them in storage.
From October 11 through November 30, “American Accents” will be the cornerstone of “American Paints,” a regional celebration of American artists and their paintings. Along with the nearby Brandywine River Museum, which is presenting “Art of the American West: A Private Collection” (through November 23), and the Delaware Art Museum, where the exhibition “American Tableaux: Selection from the Collection of the Walker Art Center” will be on display, Winterthur will offer hotel packages and discount coupons that will make it convenient and economical for visitors to take in all there exhibitions.
Winterthur is located on Route 52, six miles northwest of Wilmington, and five miles south of US Route 1. For information, 800-448-3883, 302-888-4600 or winterthur.org.
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