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Walters Art Museum opens New Eyes on America. The Genius of Richard Caton Woodville

Walters Art Museum presents New Eyes on America. The Genius of Richard Caton Woodville an exhibition with richly-painted depictions of daily life created during the transformative years prior to the American Civil War, on view March 10 – June 2, 2013.

Richard Caton Woodville, The Sailor’s Wedding, 1852, oil on fabric, 46.2 × 55.2 cm, The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore (37.142)

During a tragically short career, the Baltimore-born and European-trained Woodville (1825–55) engaged with issues that dominated American society, including war, intergenerational communication, and new technologies such as the telegraph and penny press. Woodville was born of a prominent Baltimore family, living blocks from the Walters, and trained in Düsseldorf, Germany, where he conducted his professional career. On view from March 10–June 2, 2013, this is the first monographic Woodville exhibition since 1967, and it travels to the Mint Museum in Charlotte, N.C. June 30–Nov. 3, 2013.

The exhibition includes Woodville’s 16 known paintings, several of which have never been on view, as well as prints, illustrated books and other related works of art to place his career in historical context. The Walters has the largest holding of his works. Woodville left behind no written archives; however, his work was highly acclaimed and widely disseminated through premium prints sent to thousands of subscribers to the American Art-Union, a national art membership organization. His crisp, linear works on popular subjects played an important role in the extraordinary increase in visual imagery available to a broad American audience during his lifetime.

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