Transcending Vision: American Impressionism 1870–1940 at the Museum of Fine Arts St. Petersburg

The Museum of Fine Arts St. Petersburg presents Transcending Vision: American Impressionism 1870–1940 From the Bank of America Collection, open August 28, 2010–January 9, 2011.

This exhibition features stunning American Impressionist paintings and is bracketed by precursor and subsequent movements in American art. Transcending Vision contains works by more than seventy artists, including such major figures as Thomas Moran, George Inness, Childe Hassam, Daniel Garber, John Sloan, Ernest Lawson, George Bellows, and Guy Wiggins. It is drawn from one of the most notable components of Bank of America’s art collection.

The exhibition highlights regional artists’ colonies established across the United States. It explores the ways in which artists interpreted America’s rural, maritime, and urban spaces, as well as their portrayal of daily life often using the Impressionist devices of capturing the moment with brisk brushstrokes, a vibrant palette, and atmospheric effects.

The exhibition provides a thought-provoking historical context for American Impressionism by positioning it between the Hudson River School and the realist trends evident in the later canvases. The earlier majestic landscapes of native scenery gradually gave way to works inspired by the French Impressionists. These paintings represent the changing mindset of American art and culture from the late-nineteenth century to World War II.

Image: Robert Spencer Afternoon Bathers, ca. 1920 Oil on canvas Bank of America Collection

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