Integrated within the chronological flow of the museum’s permanent collection, these masterworks from Gilded Age, Impressionist, and Ashcan School painters will help to tell the story of the late 19th century and early 20th centuries in America, a “coming-of-age” period in American art. Mary Cassatt’s renowned Reading 'Le Figaro' is joined by major paintings by George Bellows, Martin Johnson Heade, John Singer Sargent, John Sloan, William Glackens, John La Farge, Everett Shinn and others.
In the late 1800s painters such as Heade and La Farge captured the refined elegance to which Americans aspired during the Gilded Age, while expatriate artists such as Sargent and Cassatt pioneered impressionist styles abroad, challenging long-standing practice and rivaling their French counterparts. After 1900, artists such as Bellows, Glackens, Sloan and Shinn also abandoned traditional studio techniques to portray New York City’s bustling streets and slice-of-life views of parks, shops, bridges and entertainment halls. These painters embraced a changing world and depicted Americans plunging headlong into the future. Together these artists revolutionized American art, liberating it from academic strictures to become a dynamic mirror of life as “The American Century” was beginning.
The Lenkins began collecting more than thirty years ago, inspired to begin by the late Walter Hopps, then a curator at the museum; they have focused primarily on the Gilded Age, Impressionist and Ashcan generations before and after the turn of the twentieth century. Chief Curator Virginia Mecklenburg and Curator Emeritus William Truettner selected the artworks borrowed from the Lenkin Collection.
The installation is made possible through the museum’s Raymond J. and Margaret Horowitz Endowment.
Realist painter who moved from his hometown of Columbus, Ohio, to New York City, establishing himself as a painter of the bustling urban landscape. He was associated with The Eight and was influenced by Robert Henri.
Born to a prominent Pennsylvania family, Mary Cassatt spent her artistic career in Europe.
Painter, illustrator, and member of The Eight.
Painter, stained glass designer. Among his many commissions, decoration of the Trinity Church in Boston placed La Farge at the forefront of the American Arts and Crafts movement.
Painter. Sargent traveled in a circle of socially prominent people and is known for his loosely painted portraits done in a style reminiscent of Edgar Degas and James Abbott McNeill Whistler.
Painter, illustrator and decorator.
Painter, illustrator and teacher. With William Glackens, George Luks, Robert Henri, and Everett Shinn, Sloan was part of the Ashcan School.