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American Collection

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Esther Parada
U.S. b. 1938
Defy/Define the Frame 2003.0041

Defy/Define the Frame 2003.0041

James Parker
U.S. 1933-1985
Untitled 2000.0002

Untitled 2000.0002

Jim Parker completed numerous works similar to this untitled drawing in the middle to late seventies. Their interlacing colors create a simultaneous flatness and movement, yet their subtle gradations produce a relaxing mood. Many abstract artists in the 1950s and 1960s practiced color field painting. Color Field Painting, a branch of Abstract Expressionism, involved the use of large expanses of unmodulated color. Two of its more well-known exponents were Mark Rothko and Barnett Newman. However Parker, who exhibited with Ellsworth Kelley, Jules Olitski, Frank Stella, and Kenneth Noland, began in 1971, and continued through the 1980s to take an absolute colorist position. The forms in his works were always subordinated to the interaction of colors.

Samuel Parker
U.S. b. 1936
Nude 79.0013

Nude 79.0013

Samuel Parker
U.S. b. 1936
Pandora's Box 80.0015

Pandora's Box 80.0015

Rubens Peale
U.S. 1784-1865
Watermelon and Peaches 84.0010

This still life is one of dozens of fruit pieces Rubens Peale produced in the last decade of his life. The still life was considered a lesser genre than history or portraiture, however, the Peales frequently included still-life groupings in their portraits. Only later when the demand for portraiture began to decline (about 1810) did Rubens' brother Raphaelle (the Peale most well-known for his still-life painting) begin to paint still-lifes exclusively. Rubens was drawn to still-life because of his interest in botany and horticulture. He based his compositions upon his brother, Raphaelle's formula-a horizontal arrangement against a neutral background, indirectly illuminated. Rubens, the son of artist and museum founder, Charles Willson Peale, was a member of a very large family of artists. Because of defective eyesight, he did not learn to paint along with his siblings. Rubens instead took charge of his father's museum in Philadelphia from 1810 to 1822 at which time he took over directorship of his brother Rembrandt Peale's museum in Baltimore. His intense absorption in nature manifested itself in an interest in botany, taxidermy, and natural curiosities. His belated emergence as a painter at the age of 71 came about as a result of his daughter's instruction and encouragement.

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