Museums and Art Collections in the USA

The development of painting in the USA. The First American Revolution and the young republic. Landscape, history and marine painting. American Museum of Natural History. National Gallery of Art. Leslie Lohman Gay Art Foundation, the Philips Collection.

Рубрика Культура и искусство
Вид курсовая работа
Язык английский
Дата добавления 12.02.2014
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The first great American painter of historical narratives was Benjamin West. In colonial America there was little demand for large-scale work of this sort, and West traveled to Europe in search of training and patronage. As an expatriate living in London, West achieved great success with works like The Battle of La Hogue, which represents an English victory at sea in 1692.

John Singleton Copley, another American, also found an audience in London. Copley's Watson and the Shark was a private commission illustrating a scene from the life of Brook Watson. Orphaned as a child, Watson later became a wealthy businessman and eventually the mayor of London. By executing this scene with the epic scale and drama traditionally reserved for public works, Copley transforms an episode of personal history into an allegory of salvation with instructive value for public life. Copley's preliminary sketch for the Death of the Earl of Chatham shows a more traditional subject for history painting. The finished product was roughly ten feet wide-a huge monument to an esteemed public figure.

In America, demand for paintings that celebrated national triumphs did not emerge until after the American Revolution, and then on a less monumental scale. This was due in part to the lack of large public spaces suitable for such grand works and to a reluctance of a young government short on funds to spend money on public decoration. The narrative cycle completed by John Trumbull for the Rotunda of the U.S. Capitol is the notable exception.

However, there was a great demand for smaller-scale works of historical subjects. Paul Revere dramatized the Boston Massacre in order to rally colonists to the Revolutionary cause. Scenes of American military conflict were very popular among naive or self-taught artists from the earliest days of the Revolution through the mid-nineteenth century[4].

The Civil War provided contemporary sources for artists interested in historical subjects. Winslow Homer, as an artist correspondent for Harper's Weeklyduring the war, illustrated vignettes of military life. J. G. Tanner's Engagement between the "Monitor" and the "Merrimac" depicts the famous stalemate between the two armored vessels, the first of their kind, that ushered in a new era in naval warfare. Sometimes these events were depicted as allegories to suggest their timeless meaning. A. A. Lamb represented the Emancipation Proclamation as Liberty in a chariot, triumphantly leading Lincoln and the Union troops before the Capitol.

Sponsorship of grand-scale public painting did not revive until the late nineteenth century and continued into the twentieth with the construction of large public buildings. During the Depression in the 1930s, the Works Progress Administration funded the Federal Arts Project in order to increase public support for the arts and employ visual artists. Part of this effort involved the creation of murals for post offices, city halls, and other government buildings. As government commissions for public spaces, these works are the modern heirs to the tradition of history painting.

In the late twentieth century artists did not completely abandon historical events. Some are composite interpretations that refer to events, such as Robert Rauschenberg's For Dante's 700 Birthday, No. 1. However, photography, film, and video have largely transformed history painting into history documentation [5, p. 75-77].

2.5 Marine painting

As early as colonial times, Atlantic ports such as Boston, New York, Baltimore, and Charleston were established hubs of American commerce. It was common for wealthy ship owners, mariners, and merchants to commission pictures of the boats and activities by which they made their living. Following British and Dutch models, many artists specialized in marine paintings.

The first American marine paintings centered on the ports themselves, which were often viewed across the water as if from the deck of a ship. These harbor scenes frequently included ship traffic and illustrated mercantile activities along the wharves, suggesting the prosperity of America's flourishing maritime industry. In ship paintings, a harbor view might indicate the vessel's home port, as in Thomas Chambers' New York Harbor with Pilot Boat "George Washington".

Throughout the nineteenth century, proud ship owners commissioned individual portraits of their commercial vessels and racing yachts. Marine painters became skilled not only at precisely delineating the rigging of sailing ships but also at capturing effects of water and sky. The standard format showed the boat broadside, under full sail or steam, generally with other craft in the distance and perhaps a glimpse of the far shore.

In the mid-nineteenth century, marine painting shifted emphasis from man to nature. No longer interested in illustrations of commerce, artists like John Frederick Kensett and Fitz Henry Lane strove to capture the spiritual qualities of sea and sky. These scenes may include ships and human figures, but the true subject is the mood evoked by the crystalline atmosphere and pervading sense of serenity. Now called luminist works, these paintings indicate a change in the prevailing attitude toward the natural world.

Martin Johnson Heade and Thomas Moran were interested in more naturalistic representations. The unearthly calm of luminist works was replaced by realistic seascapes in which the viewer can almost hear the crashing surf. Winslow Homer added figures to this natural realism and reintroduced the human element to marine painting. His works focus on man's relationship with nature, and he uses the sea to embody nature's power. It is a constant and varied element, depicted both as provider of subsistence and a life-threatening force.

The impressionists favored another aspect of marine painting-that of leisure. Their interest in the sea had more to do with light and color than using a body of water as a dramatic device. Their stylistic methods provided artists with new ways to present intimate aspects of the sea, such as the picturesque coves and seasides dotted with revelers represented by Maurice Prendergast.

Twentieth-century artists experimented with a variety of styles and techniques in their interpretations of the sea. Modernist John Marin captured the ocean's energy with exuberant brushwork and abstract geometric shapes. Mark Rothkoused surrealist-inspired biomorphic forms to suggest sea creatures in a primordial marine world. Albert Christ-Janer's lithograph combines the brilliant color of sun, sea, and sky with the rhythmic patterns of foaming waves. VijaCelmins approaches total abstraction in her quiet, meditative ocean views [3].

2.6 Scenes from Everyday Life

The term "genre" refers to depictions of scenes from daily life. Genre painting developed in seventeenth-century Europe, specifically in the Netherlands, when newly gained prosperity generated a large middle class and led to broad-based patronage of art. Genre emerged in America about two centuries later, when the ambitions and optimism of the young country gave rise to a public eager for pictures of people at work and play.

The earliest genre paintings were scenes of rural and frontier life. These works showed Americans engaged in everyday activities such as farming, sewing, hunting, skating, relaxing, and socializing. Virtually any occasion or setting served as subject matter: a festive flaxscutching bee in a frontier barnyard, completion of the daily chores, or an assembly in a public square. Even thedeath of a loved one was a typical subject for genre. In each case, the artist conveys a sense of the familiar through action, atmosphere, and detailed setting.

Genre at its best provides a convincing view of daily life while also communicating aspects of universal experience that transcend the specific incident portrayed. After the Civil War, one of the leading practitioners of genre was Eastman Johnson, whose paintings of childhood and domestic life won him great popularity. In the mid-nineteenth century, Winslow Homer's images of sailing, hunting, and other pastimes are among the most renowned in American art. Thomas Eakins' depictions of rowing and leisure represent a high point of naturalism and precise observation. These works resonate far beyond descriptive storytelling.

During the late nineteenth century, impressionists developed new techniques of rendering light and color using scenes of leisure and entertainment. American expatriates adopted the subjects popularized by the impressionists, as in Mary Cassatt's boating party on the French Riviera. Similarly, James McNeill Whistler's gathering at a dockside table in London, and John Singer Sargent'sglimpse of a Venetian street, are transitions from the portraiture for which they were better known. After working in Europe, American impressionists William Merritt Chase, Childe Hassam, and Edmund C. Tarbell also experimented with the art of genre. These works often focused on life in the country and refined domestic pursuits, as evident in Chase's sparkling depiction of a social visit, A Friendly Call.

In the early twentieth century, interpretation of modern urban life became an important element of American genre. A level of social commentary was added by members of the Ashcan school with the weary laborers depicted by George Luks and the bloodied boxers of George Bellows. Between the World Wars, artists such as Guy Pиne du Bois and Edward Hopper depicted urban scenes, often with a sense of isolation and melancholy appropriate to the Great Depression.

Following World War II, the rise of abstract art overshadowed traditional representation. But in the late twentieth century figurative painting returned, and imagery from popular and consumer culture were incorporated into a contemporary version of genre. Works by artists such as Roy Lichtenstein andRed Grooms invest a traditional style with a new dimension of playfulness and social irony [4].


3.1 The American Museum of Natural History

The American Museum of Natural History (abbreviated as AMNH), located on the Upper West Side of Manhattan in New York City, United States, is one of the largest and most celebrated museums in the world. Located in park-like grounds across the street from Central Park, the Museum comprises 25 interconnected buildings that house 46 permanent exhibition halls, research laboratories, and its renowned library.

The collections contain over 32 million specimens, of which only a small fraction can be displayed at any given time. The Museum has a scientific staff of more than 200, and sponsors over 100 special field expeditions each year.

The Museum was founded in 1869. Prior to construction of the present complex, the Museum was housed in the older Arsenal building in Central Park. Theodore Roosevelt, Sr., the father of the 26th U.S. President, was one of the founders along with John David Wolfe, William T. Blodgett, Robert L. Stuart, Andrew H. Green, Robert Colgate, Morris K. Jesup, Benjamin H. Field, D. Jackson Steward, Richard M. Blatchford, J. Pierpont Morgan, Adrian Iselin, Moses H. Grinnell, Benjamin B. Sherman, A. G. Phelps Dodge, William A. Haines, Charles A. Dana, Joseph H. Choate, Henry G. Stebbins, Henry Parish, and Howard Potter. The founding of the Museum realized the dream of naturalist Dr. Albert S. Bickmore. Bickmore, a one-time student of Harvard zoologist Louis Agassiz, lobbied tirelessly for years for the establishment of a natural history museum in New York. His proposal, backed by his powerful sponsors, won the support of the Governor of New York, John Thompson Hoffman, who signed a bill officially creating the American Museum of Natural History on April 6, 1869.

In 1874, the cornerstone was laid for the Museum's first building, which is now hidden from view by the many buildings in the complex that today occupy most of Manhattan Square. The original Victorian Gothicbuilding, which was opened in 1877, was designed by Calvert Vaux and J. WreyMould, both already closely identified with the architecture of Central Park. It was soon eclipsed by the south range of the Museum, designed by J. Cleaveland Cady, an exercise in rusticated brownstone neo-Romanesque, influenced by H. H. Richardson. It extends 700 feet (210 m) along West 77th Street, with corner towers 150 feet (46 m) tall. Its pink brownstone and granite, similar to that found at Grindstone Island in the St. Lawrence River, came from quarries at Picton Island, New York. The entrance on Central Park West, the New York State Memorial to Theodore Roosevelt, completed by John Russell Pope in 1936, is an overscaled Beaux-Arts monument. It leads to a vast Roman basilica, where visitors are greeted with a cast of a skeleton of a rearing Barosaurus defending her young from an Allosaurus. The Museum is also accessible through its 77th street foyer, renamed the "Grand Gallery" and featuring a fully suspended Haida canoe. The hall leads into the oldest extant exhibit in the Museum, the hall of Northwest Coast Indians.

Since 1930 little has been added to the original building. The Museum's south front, spanning 77th Street from Central Park West to Columbus Avenue was cleaned, repaired and re-emerged in 2009. Steven Reichl, a spokesman for the Museum, said that work would include restoring 650 black-cherry window frames and stone repairs. The Museum's consultant on the latest renovation is Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates, Inc., an architectural and engineering firm with headquarters inNorthbrook, IL.

The Museum boasts habitat dioramas of African, Asian and North American mammals, a full-size model of a Blue Whale suspended in the Milstein Family Hall of Ocean Life, sponsored by the family of Paul Milstein (reopened in 2003), a 62 foot (19 m) Haida carved and painted war canoe from the Pacific Northwest, a massive 31 ton piece of the Cape York meteorite, and the Star of India, the largest starsapphire in the world. The circuit of an entire floor is devoted to vertebrate evolution.

The Museum has extensive anthropological collections: Asian People, Pacific People, Man in Africa, American Indian collections, general Native American collections, and collections from Mexico and Central America [2].

3.2 The Museum of Modern Art

The Museum of Modern Art (stylized MoMA) is an art museum located in Midtown Manhattan in New York City, United States, on 53rd Street, between Fifth and Sixth Avenues. It has been important in developing and collecting modernist art, and is often identified as the most influential museum of modern art in the world.The museum's collection offers an unparalleled overview in modern and contemporary art, including works of architecture and design, drawings, painting,sculpture, photography, prints, illustrated books and artist's books, film, and electronic media.

MoMA's library and archives hold over 300,000 books, artist books, and periodicals, as well as individual files on more than 70,000 artists. The archives contain primary source material related to the history of modern and contemporary art. It also houses an award-winning fine dining restaurant, The Modern, run by Alsace-born chef Gabriel Kreuther.

The idea for The Museum of Modern Art was developed in 1928 primarily by Abby Aldrich Rockefeller (wife of John D. Rockefeller Jr.) and two of her friends, Lillie P. Bliss and Mary Quinn Sullivan. They became known variously as "the Ladies", "the daring ladies" and "the adamantine ladies". They rented modest quarters for the new museum in rented spaces in the Heckscher Building at 730 Fifth Avenue (corner of Fifth Avenue and 57th Street) in Manhattan, and it opened to the public on November 7, 1929, nine days after the Wall Street Crash. Abby had invited A. Conger Goodyear, the former president of the board of trustees of the Albright Art Gallery in Buffalo, New York, to become president of the new museum. Abby became treasurer. At the time, it was America's premier museum devoted exclusively to modern art, and the first of its kind in Manhattan to exhibit European modernism.

Goodyear enlisted Paul J. Sachs and Frank Crowninshield to join him as founding trustees. Sachs, the associate director and curator of prints and drawings at theFogg Art Museum at Harvard University, was referred to in those days as a collector of curators. Goodyear asked him to recommend a director and Sachs suggested Alfred H. Barr Jr., a promising young protege. Under Barr's guidance, the museum's holdings quickly expanded from an initial gift of eight prints and one drawing. Its first successful loan exhibition was in November 1929, displaying paintings by Van Gogh, Gauguin, Cйzanne, and Seurat.

First housed in six rooms of galleries and offices on the twelfth floor of Manhattan's Heckscher Building, on the corner of Fifth Avenue and 57th Street, the museum moved into three more temporary locations within the next ten years. Abby's husband was adamantly opposed to the museum (as well as to modern art itself) and refused to release funds for the venture, which had to be obtained from other sources and resulted in the frequent shifts of location. Nevertheless, he eventually donated the land for the current site of the museum, plus other gifts over time, and thus became in effect one of its greatest benefactors [2].

During that time it initiated many more exhibitions of noted artists, such as the lone Vincent van Gogh exhibition on November 4, 1935. Containing an unprecedented sixty-six oils and fifty drawings from the Netherlands, and poignant excerpts from the artist's letters, it was a major public success and became "a precursor to the hold van Gogh has to this day on the contemporary imagination".

The museum also gained international prominence with the hugely successful and now famous Picasso retrospective of 1939-40, held in conjunction with the Art Institute of Chicago. In its range of presented works, it represented a significant reinterpretation of Picasso for future art scholars and historians. This was wholly masterminded by Barr, a Picasso enthusiast, and the exhibition lionized Picasso as the greatest artist of the time, setting the model for all the museum's retrospectives that were to follow.

Considered by many to have the best collection of modern Western masterpieces in the world, MoMA's holdings include more than 150,000 individual pieces in addition to approximately 22,000 films and 4 million film stills. The collection houses such important and familiar works as the following:The Starry Night by Vincent van Gogh, The Sleeping Gypsy by Henri Rousseau, The Dream by Henri Rousseau, Les Demoiselles d'Avignon by Pablo Picasso, The Persistence of Memory by Salvador Dalн, Broadway Boogie Woogie by Piet Mondrian,etc [10, p. 53-54].

3.3 The National Gallery of Art 

The National Gallery of Art is a national art museum, located on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. Open to the public free of charge, the museum was established in 1937 for the people of the United States of America by a joint resolution of the United States Congress, with funds for construction and a substantial art collection donated by Andrew W. Mellon. Additionally, the core collection has major works of art donated by Paul Mellon, Ailsa Mellon Bruce, Lessing J. Rosenwald, Samuel Henry Kress, Rush Harrison Kress, Peter Arrell Brown Widener, Joseph E. Widener and Chester Dale. The Gallery's collection of paintings, drawings, prints, photographs, sculpture, medals, and decorative arts traces the development of Western Art from the Middle Ages to the present, including the only painting by Leonardo da Vinci in the Americas and the largest mobile ever created by Alexander Calder.

The Gallery's campus includes the original neoclassical West Building designed by John Russell Pope, which is linked underground to the modern East Building designed by I. M. Pei, and the 6.1-acre (25,000 m2) Sculpture Garden. Temporary special exhibitions spanning the world and the history of art are presented frequently.

The National Gallery of Art has one of the finest art collections in the world. It was created for the people of the United States of America by a joint resolution of Congress accepting the gift of financier, public servant, and art collector Andrew W. Mellon in 1937. European and American paintings, sculpture, works on paper, photographs, and decorative arts are displayed in the collection galleries and Sculpture Garden. The permanent collection of paintings spans from the Middle Ages to the present day. The strongest collection is the Italian Renaissance collection, which includes two panels from Duccio's Maesta, the great tondo of the Adoration of the Magi by Fra Angelico and Filippo Lippi, a Botticelli on the same subject, Giorgione's Allendale Nativity, Bellini's The Feast of the Gods, the only Leonardo painting in the Americas, Ginevra de' Benci; and significant groups of works by Titian and Raphael. However, the other European collections include examples of the work of many of the great masters of western painting,including Grьnewald, Dьrer, Hals, Rembrandt, Vermeer, Goya, Ingres, and Delacroix, among others. The collection of sculpture and decorative arts is admittedly not quite as rich as this, but includes such works as the Chalice of Abbot Suger of St-Denis and a superb collection of work by Rodin and Degas[10, p. 55-56].

3.4 The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum

The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum (often referred to as "The Guggenheim") is a well-known museum located on the Upper East Side of Manhattan in New York City, United States. It is the permanent home to a renowned collection of Impressionist, Post-Impressionist, early Modern, and contemporary art and also features special exhibitions throughout the year. Designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, it is one of the 20th century's most important architectural landmarks.

The museum opened on October 21, 1959, and was the second museum opened by the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation. It recently underwent an extensive, three-year renovation.

Guided by his art adviser, the German painter HillaRebay, Solomon Guggenheim began to collect works by nonobjective artists in 1929. (For Rebay, the word "nonobjective" signified the spiritual dimensions of pure abstraction.) Guggenheim first began to show his work from his apartment, and as the collection grew, he established The Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation in 1937. Guggenheim and Rebay opened the foundation for the "promotion and encouragement and education in art and the enlightenment of the public." Chartered by the Board of Regents of New York State, the Foundation was endowed to operate one or more museums; Solomon Guggenheim was elected its first President and Rebay its Director.

In 1939, the Guggenheim Foundation's first museum, "The Museum of Non-Objective Painting", opened in rented quarters at 24 East Fifty-Fourth Street in New York and showcased art by early modernists such as Rudolf Bauer, HillaRebay, Wassily Kandinsky, and Piet Mondrian. During the life of Guggenheim's first museum, Guggenheim continued to add to his collection, acquiring paintings by Marc Chagall, Robert Delaunay, Fernand Lйger, Amedeo Modigliani andPablo Picasso. The collection quickly outgrew its original space, so in 1943, Rebay and Guggenheim wrote a letter to Frank Lloyd Wright pleading him to design a permanent structure for the collection. It took Wright 15 years, 700 sketches, and six sets of working drawings to create the museum. While Wright was designing the museum Rebay was searching for sites where the museum would reside. Where the museum now stands was its original chosen site by Rebay which is at the corners of 89th Street and Fifth Avenue (overlooking Central Park). On October 21, 1959, ten years after the death of Solomon Guggenheim and six months after the death of Frank Lloyd Wright the Museum opened its doors for the first time to the general public.

The distinctive building, Wright's last major work, instantly polarized architecture critics upon completion, though today it is widely revered. From the street, the building looks like a white ribbon curled into a cylindrical stack, slightly wider at the top than the bottom. Its appearance is in sharp contrast to the more typically boxy Manhattan buildings that surround it, a fact relished by Wright who claimed that his museum would make the nearby Metropolitan Museum of Art "look like a Protestant barn."

Internally, the viewing gallery forms a gentle helical spiral from the main level up to the top of the building. Paintings are displayed along the walls of the spiral and also in exhibition space found at annex levels along the way.

Most of the criticism of the building has focused on the idea that it overshadows the artworks displayed within, and that it is particularly difficult to properly hang paintings in the shallow windowless exhibition niches that surround the central spiral. The walls of the niches are neither vertical nor flat (most are gently concave), meaning that canvasses must be mounted proud of the wall's surface. The limited space within the niches means that sculptures are generally relegated to plinths amid the main spiral walkway itself. Prior to its opening, twenty-one artists, including Willem de Kooning and Robert Motherwell, signed a letter protesting the display of their work in such a space.

In 1992, the building was supplemented by an adjoining rectangular tower, taller than the original spiral, designed by thearchitectural firm of Gwathmey Siegel & Associates Architects. By that point, the building had become iconic enough that this augmentation of Wright's original design was itself controversial.

In October 2005, Lisa Dennison, a longtime Guggenheim curator, was appointed director of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York. Dennison resigned in July 2007 to work at the auction house Sotheby's.

Guided by his art adviser, the German painter HillaRebay, Solomon Guggenheim began to collect works by nonobjective artists in 1929 [6, p. 390-396].


4.1 The Leslie Lohman Gay Art Foundation 

The Leslie Lohman Gay Art Foundation (LLGAF) is a nonprofit foundation for the collection and preservation of visual arts by LGBT artists or art about LGBT themes, issues, and people. LLGAF is located in the SoHo district of New York City. It has a gallery for temporary exhibitions and includes a sizable permanent collection of art numbering over 3,000 items, including, painting, drawing, photography, prints and sculpture. It has been recognized as one of the oldest arts groups engaged in the collection and preservation of gay art.

The permanent collection contains the works of a number of well-known artists such as Andy Warhol, Delmas Howe, Jean Cocteau, DeniPonty, Robert Mapplethorpe, George Platt Lynes, Horst and Arthur Tress.

Along with the Kinsey Institute, the One National Gay & Lesbian Archives, Lesbians in the Visual Arts, and the Archives of Gay and Lesbian Artists at Oberlin College, the Leslie Lohman Gay Art Foundation is considered one of the most important archives of LGBT visual arts in the United States.

LLGAF was created to provide an outlet for art that is unambiguously gay and frequently denied access to mainstream venues. The foundation's gallery mounts regularly scheduled exhibitions of art in all media by gay and lesbian artists with an emphasis on subject matter that speaks directly to gay and lesbian sensibilities, including erotic, political, romantic, and social imagery. The organization also provides support for emerging and under-represented artists. Other programs include artists' and curators' talks, panel discussions, a quarterly journal, an archive of artist data, and a permanent collection of art. The LLGAF also publishes The Archive made available to its membership that includes information on the Leslie Lohman collection, new acquisitions, events, samples of gay and sometimes erotic art and articles on artists and exhibition. The Archive is the predecessor to another publication, The Art of Man from Firehouse Studio publications.

The foundation hosts five exhibitions of new works each year, although work from the permanent collection is also frequently exhibited. The foundation's 2004 exhibition of the works of painter Patrick Angus drew critical praise.

The foundation was also the first to exhibit the gay erotica of renowned commercial illustrator Bob Ziering. Although Ziering had provided illustrations for Simon and Schuster, The Walt Disney Company, and theNew York City Opera (his 40-by-40-foot banner for the Opera's 1986 production of Don Quichotte at Lincoln Center caused a sensation), his erotic work remained unknown until LLGAF hosted the first public exhibition of his paintings and drawings in 2004 [6, p. 397-398].

4.2 The Metropolitan Museum of Art

The Metropolitan Museum of Art (colloquially The Met) is an art museum on the eastern edge of Central Park, along "Museum Mile" in New York City, United States. Its permanent collection contains more than two million works of art, divided into nineteen curatorial departments. The main building, often called "the Met", is one of the world's largest art galleries; there is also a much smaller second location, at "The Cloisters", in Upper Manhattan, which features medieval art.

Represented in the permanent collection are works of art from classical antiquity and Ancient Egypt, paintings and sculptures from nearly all the European masters, and an extensive collection of American and modern art. The Met also maintains extensive holdings of African, Asian, Oceanic, Byzantine, and Islamic art. The museum is also home to encyclopedic collections of musical instruments, costumes and accessories, and antique weapons and armor from around the world. Several notable interiors, ranging from 1st-century Rome through modern American design, are permanently installed in the Met's galleries [4].

The Metropolitan Museum of Art was founded in 1870 by a group of American citizens. The founders included businessmen and financiers, as well as leading artists and thinkers of the day, who wanted to open a museum to bring art and art education to the American people. It opened on February 20, 1872, and was originally located at 681 Fifth Avenue

The Met's permanent collection is cared for and exhibited by seventeen separate curatorial departments, each with a specialized staff of curators and scholars, as well as four dedicated conservation departments and a department of scientific research.

Represented in the permanent collection are works of art from classical antiquity and Ancient Egypt, paintings and sculptures from nearly all the European masters, and an extensive collection of American and modern art. The Met also maintains extensive holdings of African, Asian, Oceanic, Byzantine and Islamic art. The museum is also home to encyclopedic collections of musical instruments, costumes and accessories, and antique weapons and armor from around the world. A number of notable interiors, ranging from 1st century Rome through modern American design, are permanently installed in the Met's galleries.

In addition to its permanent exhibitions, the Met organizes and hosts large traveling shows throughout the year.

At present (January 2009), the director of the museum is Thomas P. Campbell, a long-time curator, who replaced Philippe de Montebello following his retirement at the end of 2008 [2].

4.3 Albert C.Barnes's Art Collection

Albert Coombs Barnes (January 2, 1872 - July 24, 1951) was an American inventor and art collector. With the fortune made from the development of the antiseptic drug Argyrol, he founded the Barnes Foundation, a museum created from his private collection of art. It is strongly represented by paintings by Impressionist, Post-Impressionist and Modernist masters, as well as furniture and crafted objects. It is located near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Barnes was known as an eccentric figure who had a passion for educating the underprivileged. He created a special relationship with Lincoln University, a historically black college in the area, and gave the university a strong role in administration of his foundation [2].

From about 1910, when he was in his late 30s, Barnes began to dedicate himself to the study and pursuit of art. He commissioned one of his former high school classmates, the painter William Glackens, to buy several 'modern' French paintings. Glackens returned from Paris with the 20 paintings that formed the core of Barnes' collection.

In 1912, during a stay in Paris, Barnes was invited to the home of Gertrude and Leo Stein, where he met artists such as Henri Matisse and Pablo Picasso. In the 1920s, art dealer Paul Guillaume introduced him to the work of Amedeo Modigliani, Giorgio de Chirico, and Chaim Soutine among others. With money, an excellent eye, and poor economic conditions in the Depression, Barnes was able to acquire much important art at bargain prices. His first Picasso, for instance, was bought for under $100.

Barnes was known for his antagonism to the discipline of art history, which he said "stifles both self-expression and appreciation of art." He also was an outspoken and controversial critic of public education and the museum. He set up his foundation to allow visitors to have a direct, even "hands-on", approach to the collection. He created it, he said, not for the benefit of art historians, but for that of the students.

A public showing in 1923 of Barnes' collection proved too avant-garde for most people's taste. The critical ridicule aimed at this show was the beginning of Barnes' long-lasting and well-publicized antagonism toward those he considered part of the art establishment. Barnes had his collection hung according to his own ideas about showing relationships between paintings and objects; for instance, paintings were placed near furniture and finely crafted hinges and metalwork. The pieces were identified in a minimal manner, without traditional curatorial comment, so that viewers could approach them without mediation.

Barnes' interests included what came to be called the Harlem Renaissance, and he followed its artists and writers. In March 1925 Barnes wrote an essay "Negro Art and America", published in the Survey Graphic of Harlem, which was edited by Alain Locke. He explained his admiration of what could be called 'black soul'. In the late 1940s Barnes met Horace Mann Bond, the first black president of Lincoln University, a historically black college in central Chester County, Pennsylvania. They established a friendship that led to Barnes' inviting Lincoln students to the collection. He also ensured by his will that officials of the university had a prominent role after his death in running his collection.

Barnes limited access to the collection, and required people to make appointments by letter. Applicants sometimes received rejection letters "signed" by Barnes's dog. In a famous case, Barnes refused admission to writer James A. Michener, who gained access to the collection only by posing as an illiterate steelworker. It was not until 1961 that the collection was open to the public regularly two days a week. That schedule expanded slightly in 1967. Up through the early 1990s, long after Barnes's death, access to the collection was extremely limited. The collection had difficulties raising enough money from attendees to provide for needed renovations to its building, as well as regular operating expenses. The Foundation decided to send 80 works to be exhibited on a three-year tour to raise money for needed renovations. The paintings and other works attracted huge crowds in numerous cities. Appointments to see the collection may be made by phone or over the Internet, but the number of visitors is controlled by the hour so the galleries are not too crowded [9, p. 143-150].

4.4 Getty Center

The Getty Center, in Brentwood, Los Angeles, California, is a campus for cultural institutions founded by oilman J. Paul Getty. The $1.3 billion Center, which opened on December 16, 1997, is also well known for its architecture, gardens, and views (overlooking Los Angeles). The Center sits atop a hill, which is connected to a visitor's parking garage at the bottom of the hill by a three-car, cable-pulled tram. The Center draws 1.3 million visitors annually.

It is one of two locations of the J. Paul Getty Museum. This branch of the museum specializes in "pre-20th-century European paintings, drawings, illuminated manuscripts, sculpture, and decorative arts; and 19th- and 20th-century American and European photographs". Among the works on display is the painting Irises byVincent van Gogh. Besides the Museum, the Center's buildings house the Getty Research Institute (GRI), the Getty Conservation Institute, the Getty Foundation, and the administrative offices of the J. Paul Getty Trust, which owns and operates the Center. The Center also has outdoor sculptures displayed on terracces and in gardens. The Center was designed by architect Richard Meier and includes a central garden designed by artist Robert Irwin. GRI's separate building contains a research library with over 900,000 volumes and two million photographs of art and architecture. The Center's design included special provisions to address concerns regarding earthquakes and fire[2].

4.5 The Phillips Collection

The Phillips Collection is an art museum founded by Duncan Phillips in 1921 as the Phillips Memorial Gallery located in the Dupont Circle neighborhood ofWashington, D.C. Phillips was the grandson of James H. Laughlin, a banker and co-founder of the Jones and Laughlin Steel Company.

Among the artists represented in the collection are Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Gustave Courbet, El Greco, Georges Braque, Paul Klee, Winslow Homer, James McNeill Whistler, Augustus Vincent Tack, and Mark Rothko.

The Phillips Collection, opened in 1921, is America's first museum of modern art. Featuring a permanent collection of nearly 3,000 works by American and European impressionist and modern artists, the Phillips is recognized for both its art and its intimate atmosphere. It is housed in founder Duncan Phillips' 1897 Georgian Revival home and two similarly scaled additions in Washington, D.C.'s Dupont Circle neighborhood.

The museum is noted for its broad representation of both impressionist and modern paintings, with works by European masters such as Gustave Courbet, Pierre Bonnard,Georges Braque, Jacques Villon, Paul Cйzanne, Honorй Daumier, Edgar Degas, Vincent van Gogh, Paul Klee, Henri Matisse, Claude Monet, and Pablo Picasso. In 1923, Phillips purchased Pierre-Auguste Renoir's impressionist painting, Luncheon of the Boating Party (1880-81), the museum's best-known work. 

From the 1920s to the 1960s, Phillips would re-hang his galleries in installations that were non-chronological and non-traditional, reflecting the relationships he saw between various artistic expressions. He presented visual connections-between past and present, between classical form and romantic expression-as dialogues on the walls of the museum. Giving equal focus to American and European artists, Phillips juxtaposed works by Winslow Homer, Thomas Eakins, Maurice Prendergast, James Abbott McNeill Whistler, and Albert Pinkham Ryder with canvases by Pierre Bonnard, Peter Ilsted and Edouard Vuillard. He exhibited watercolors by John Marin with paintings by Cйzanne, and works by van Gogh with El Greco's The Repentant St. Peter (circa 1600-05). Phillips' vision brought together "congenial spirits among the artists," and his ideas still guide the museum today.

The Phillips Collection is also known for its groups of works by artists who Phillips particularly favored. For example, he was overwhelmed by Bonnard's expressive use of color, acquiring 17 paintings by the artist. Cubist pioneer Braque is represented by 13 paintings, including the monumental still-life The Round Table (1929). The collection has an equal number of works by Klee, such as Arab Song (1932) and Picture Album (1937), as well as seven pieces by abstract expressionist artist Mark Rothko. The Rothko Room, the first public space dedicated solely to the artist's work, was designed by Phillips in keeping with Rothko's expressed preference for exhibiting his large, luminous paintings in a small, intimate space, saturating the room with color and sensation [7, p. 155-157].

Throughout his lifetime, Phillips acquired paintings by many artists who were not fully recognized at the time, among them Marin, Georgia O'Keeffe, Arthur Dove, Nicolas de Staлl,Milton Avery and Augustus Vincent Tack. By purchasing works by such promising but unknown artists, Phillips provided them with the means to continue painting. He formed close bonds with and subsidized several artists who are prominently featured in the collection-Dove and Marin in particular-and consistently purchased works by artists and students for what he called his "encouragement collection." The museum also served as a visual haven for artists such as Richard Diebenkorn, Gene Davis, and Kenneth Noland. In a 1982 tribute to the museum, Noland acknowledged, "I've spent many hours of many days in this home of art. You can be with art in the Phillips as in no other place I know."

When Duncan Phillips died in 1966, Marjorie succeeded him as museum director. Their son, Laughlin, became director in 1972. He led The Phillips Collection through a multi-year program to ensure the physical and financial security of the collection, renovate and enlarge the museum buildings, expand and professionalize the staff, conduct research on the collection, and make the Phillips more accessible to the public. In 1992, Charles S. Moffett, a noted author and curator, was named director. Moffett was directly involved with the presentation of several ambitious exhibitions during his six-year tenure, including the memorable "Impressionists on the Seine: A Celebration of Renoir's Luncheon of the Boating Party" in 1996.

Jay Gates became director in 1998. Under his leadership, The Phillips Collection continued to grow and broaden its presence in Washington, D.C., across the country, and internationally. Dorothy M. Kosinski, previously a curator at the Dallas Museum of Art, took over as director in May 2008 [12, p.395].


American art has gone through all sorts of difficulties such as wars and revolutions that has affected on its development. Gradually there were various genres, styles and trends in American art.

This course work sought to provide an accurate and systematic description of American art. In the course work the main stages in development of painting in the US, the major genres of painting, the most famous museums and art galleries have been examined. The work has shown the most important periods in the development of American art, affects of various events in the country on it, the main genres of painting and its main representatives such as John Singleton Copley, Winslow Homer and James Peale.

Also we knew about the most famous museums such as Museum of Modern Art, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, Museum of Natural History which contain many valuable exhibits and are very interesting for tourists.

Summing up the results of the research we should note that American art has made a huge contribution to the development of the world art. Its artists, paintings, galleries, museums embody all the beauty and sublimity of American culture.


1. Знакомимся с Америкой. - М.: Феникс, 1997. - с. 53-56.

2. Нестерчук Г.В. США и американцы/ Г.В. Нестерчук. - М.: Феникс, 2004. - с. 201-211.

3. Радовель В.А. Страноведение: Соединенные Штаты Америки / В.А. Радовель. - М.: Феникс, 2003. - 313 с.

4. Турышев, И.П. The ArtoftheUSA/ И.П. Турышев. - М: Политиздат,1986. - с. 10-100.

5. Яковлева Е.Н. Об англоязычной культуре на английском языке: учеб. пособие для студентов лингв. ун-тов и фак. ин. Яз. высш. пед., учеб. заведений / Е.Н. Яковлева, Е.П. Вершинина. - М: Академия,1996. - 130-134, 135-138, 141-155 с.

6. Culture Arts recreation. - М.: Политиздат, 1974. -386-398 с.

7. Making America. The Society and Culture of the United States / Ed. L.S. Luedtke. - New York: Basic Books, 1999. - 395 p.

8. Portrait of the USA- М: Академия, 1997. - 75-77 p.

9. URL: (2011. 3 апр.)

10. URL: апр.)

11. URL: (2011. 29 март.).

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