Amon Carter Museum of American Art Acquires First Painting by Robert Seldon Duncanson

. May 1, 2013

The Amon Carter Museum of American Art announces the acquisition of a major painting by 19th-century landscape artist Robert Seldon Duncanson (1821–1872), the first African-American artist to achieve international acclaim.

Robert Seldon Duncanson (1821–1872), The Caves, 1869. Oil on canvas. Amon Carter Museum of American Art, Fort Worth.

Robert Seldon Duncanson (1821–1872), The Caves, 1869. Oil on canvas. Amon Carter Museum of American Art, Fort Worth.

The work, titled The Caves, painted in 1869, was originally owned by Cincinnati Abolitionist Richard Sutton Rust (1815–1906), and it remained in his family until the Amon Carter purchased it in late 2012. Because it has been in a private collection for nearly 150 years, the painting will be accessible to the public for the first time beginning May 4, when it is displayed in the Amon Carter’s galleries.

Impressive in scale, the painting is approximately 3 feet tall and is in magnificent condition. The Caves is painted in the Hudson River School tradition, which was an inspiration to Duncanson after he viewed works by Thomas Cole and other Hudson River School artists at Cincinnati’s Western Art Union in the late 1840s. The scene depicts an intimate view of the wilderness, with unusual geographic features of steep ravines and sandstone cliffs perforated by a canopy of evergreens and a trio of caverns.

Four watercolors from the museum’s permanent collection by Adrien Mayers (1801?–1833) will be exhibited near the Duncanson painting through September 4. The watercolors portray an early view of Cincinnati, Duncanson’s adopted hometown and the place that nurtured his career.
Also on view are works by 20th and 21st century black artists, Romare Bearden (1911–1988) and Sedrick Huckaby (b. 1975). Bearden’s work is featured in the Amon Carter’s summer exhibition Romare Bearden: A Black Odyssey, on view May 18 through August 11. Fort Worth artist Sedrick Huckaby’s 18-foot-by-14-foot painting Hidden in Plain Site, created in 2011, is on view from May 14 through October 31 in the museum’s atrium.

The Amon Carter Museum of American Art is open Tuesday–Saturday from 10 a.m.–5 p.m., Thursday until 8 p.m. and Sunday from noon–5 p.m. Admission is always free. More information at www.cartermuseum.org.

Category: Fine Art

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