Chrysler Museum of Art Displays American Masterpieces From The Batten Collection

The Chrysler Museum of Art presents American Masterpieces From The Batten Collection, on view until July 31, 2011.

These paintings by Homer, Bellows, Benton, Bierstadt, Glackens, Buttersworth, and Redfield are on extended loan as promised gifts to the Chrysler. Each work dramatically enriches the range and depth of our already important collection of American paintings.

Edward Willis Redfield’s The Road to Pleasantville, oil on canvas, Chrysler Museum of Art

Bierstadt (1830 – 1902) was a key figure in encouraging Americans to appreciate the beauty of our varied national landscape. He is particularly celebrated for his huge and dramatic views of the American West. Here his subject is the Minnesota waterfall named for the heroine of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s 1855 poem, the Song of Hiawatha.

George Bellows (1882-1925), Edward Redfield (1869-1965), and William Glackens (1870-1938) also take the American landscape as their subject, each selecting a scene and style that suits their artistic personality. Bellows, best known for his powerful depictions of boxers and gritty urban scenes, here shows us a New York farm where he often spent the weekend. With rough gestural strokes he captures the wonderful moment when winter fades into spring.

One of America’s greatest painters, Winslow Homer (1836-1910), is represented by two charming and intimate works each showing a single figure in a private moment of contemplation. In one, a young woman has paused to pluck a good-luck four-leaf clover. In the second, a farmer pauses at the end of his day, the warm afternoon sun on his back, to gaze across a recently harvested field.

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