Grand Salon Installation-Paintings from the Smithsonian American Art Museum

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Frederick J. Waugh, The Knight of the Holy Grail, ca. 1912

This installation in the Renwick Gallery’s Grand Salon displays seventy paintings from the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s collection, including landscapes, portraits, and allegorical works by fifty-one American artists from the 1840s to the 1930s.


Artists whose works are featured include Edward Mitchell Bannister, Romaine Brooks, Elliott Daingerfield, Daniel Garber, William Morris Hunt, George Inness, Homer Dodge Martin, Albert Pinkham Ryder, Abbott Handerson Thayer, John Henry Twachtman, and Irving R. Wiles. The room is installed salon style, with paintings hung one-atop-another and side by side.

Visiting Information

June 5, 2009 November 11, 2013
Open Daily, 10:00 a.m.–5:30 p.m
Free Admission


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Edward Mitchell Bannister
born St. Andrews, New Brunswick, Canada 1828-died Providence, RI 1901

Bannister created a sensation when one of his paintings won first prize at the Philadelphia Centennial Exposition in 1876. He was also a respected and knowledgeable art critic.

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Romaine Brooks
born Rome, Italy 1874-died Nice, France 1970

Romaine Brooks, the daughter of a wealthy, unbalanced woman estranged from her husband before Romaine's birth, had a miserable and unstable childhood.

Elliott Daingerfield
born Harper's Ferry, VA 1859-died New York City 1932

Daingerfield grew up in Fayetteville, North Carolina, where his family moved when he was two years old. In 1880 he went to New York, where he studied briefly with Walter Satterlee and exhibited for the first time at the National Academy of Design.

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Daniel Garber
born North Manchester, IN 1880-died Lumberville, PA 1958

Garber was long associated with the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, first as a student, then as an instructor.

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William Morris Hunt
born Brattleboro, VT 1824-died Appledore, NH 1879

Hunt was the son of a Vermont congressman. He learned to draw at an early age, his first teacher being an Italian artist named Gambadella.

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George Inness
born Newburgh, NY 1825-died Bridge of Allan, Scotland 1894

Landscape painter, largely self-taught. Inness absorbed influences of the Barbizon and Hudson River Schools.

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Homer Dodge Martin
born Albany, NY 1836-died St. Paul, MN 1897

Painter. Martin's poetic, dreamy landscapes, painted from memory, are most closely associated with the Barbizon School. Harp of the Winds (1895) is a well known work.

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Albert Pinkham Ryder
born New Bedford, MA 1847-died New York City 1917

Painter. Themes of nature, literature and religion dominate his visionary, romantic and highly imaginative paintings. The Race Track (Death on a Pale Horse) (ca.

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Abbott Handerson Thayer
born Boston, MA 1849-died Dublin, NH 1921

Painter, best known for his idealistic and allegorical paintings of women as angels and madonnas.

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John Henry Twachtman
born Cincinnati, OH 1853-died Gloucester, MA 1902

Painter, founding member of The Ten. He studied with Frank Duveneck, and his early canvases reflected the influence of the Munich Academy.

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Irving R. Wiles
born Utica, NY 1861-died Peconic, NY 1948

In his heyday—the first quarter of the twentieth century—Irving Wiles was one of the most successful portrait painters in the United States.