For America features over ninety works made between 1810 and 2010 by some of the greatest American artists, drawn from the collections of the National Academy of Design in New York. From its founding in 1825 to the present, the National Academy has required all Academicians elected to donate a representative work to the Academy’s collection. From 1839 to 1994, the Academy also required Associates to present a portrait of themselves, whether painted by their own hand or that of a fellow artist. This has resulted in a collection of over 8,000 works by historical and contemporary masters such as Winslow Homer, William Merritt Chase, John Singer Sargent, Andrew Wyeth, Jaune Quick-to-See-Smith, Charles White, Jane Freilicher, and many others. Exhibition co-curator Jeremiah William McCarthy, Curator at the National Academy of Design, says: “This exhibition presents the way artists see the world alongside the way they see themselves inhabiting that world. It’s an unprecedented look at the history of American painting written by its makers.”
For America offers many opportunities for community collaborations with other Quad City cultural organizations for musical, literary and historical programs, and will provide a new perspective on the American works in the City of Davenport and Figge collections. This will be the second exhibition made possible by the museum’s Major Exhibitions Endowment.
For America: 200 Years of Painting from the National Academy of Design will tour to eight venues across the United States including the Figge, bringing important paintings to audiences across the country while also enriching the dialogue of scholars, students and artists of all ages with the firsthand experience of American masterpieces.
For America: 200 Years of Painting from the National Academy of Design is organized by the American Federation of Arts and the National Academy of Design, New York. Support for the national tour is provided by the JFM Foundation, Monique Schoen Warshaw, and Steph & Jody La Nasa.
Supporting: Estes Construction | Hunt and Diane Harris | US Bank
Contributing: Alan and Julie Renken