George Washington

Images of George Washington were in great demand during his lifetime. Of the many created, this is perhaps the most familiar to us today since it is used on the face of the one dollar bill. This is one of approximately 75 Stuart painted based on an unfinished likeness of Washington known as the “Athenaeum Portrait,” named after the Boston library that received it following Stuart’s death. Martha Washington commissioned Stuart to paint portraits of herself and her husband to hang in their Virginia home, Mount Vernon, although she never received them. Instead, Stuart retained the originals in order to use them as templates for future portrait requests. He referred to these recreated portraits as his “one-hundred dollar bills,” the price charged for such a painting. John Hoge, a state senator in Pennsylvania, requested this version in 1796, the same year the original was made.

Washington sat for Stuart on three different occasions; this represents the second sitting. In total, Stuart made more than 110 paintings of the “father of our country.”

Image Credits: Gilbert Stuart, George Washington, 1796 or later, oil on canvas. Gift of Mr. Gilbert A. Harrison, 1983.89.

Flower Garden

An American who studied traditional, academic art in Paris, Ritman turned his attention to modernism, becoming part of the third-wave of Impressionist artists. He worked in the scenic area of Giverny, France, painting in the gardens made famous by Claude Monet. Ritman’s paintings combine the decorative pattern of the Post Impressionists with the atmospheric effects of light that preoccupied the Impressionists in a style often called “decorative Impressionism.” This particular work is believed to have been displayed in the 1913 annual exhibition at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts.

Image Credits: Louis Ritman, Flower Garden, c. 1913, oil on canvas. Gift of Mr. and Mrs. John M. Redfield, Jr., 1996.259.

The White Rose (Portrait of Miss Jessup)

Chase was one of the leading American artists working at the end of the 19th century. As an influential instructor he inspired a generation of art students, who included modernists Georgia O’Keeffe, Marsden Hartley, Charles Demuth, Charles Sheeler and Joseph Stella. Pictured is Chase’s student Josephine Jessup (1858-1933), who would become a member of the New York Women’s Art Club and the American Society of Miniature Painters.

Image Credits: William Merritt Chase, The White Rose (Portrait of Miss Jessup), c. 1886, pastel on paper mounted on canvas. Gift of Miss Margaret Mallory, 1961.146.

About The American Collection

The American collection features art dating from the late 18th century to the early 20th century. In the selected items on view, the developments of American artistic traditions can be traced through the early interests in portraiture, the rise in prominence of landscape painting in the 19th-century, the popularity of genre scenes, as well as the academic traditions of history and large-scale society paintings. The collection reflects the influence in naturalism stemming from European artistic traditions. Represented artists include: Winslow Homer, Sanford Robinson Gifford, Gilbert Stuart, John Singleton Copley, Fitz Henry Lane, George Inness, Eastman Johnson, William Merritt Chase, Robert Henri, and others.

Thorne Rooms

These rooms were conceived, designed and in large part created by Narcissa Niblack Thorne. An Indiana native, Thorne began to collect miniature furniture and household accessories during her travels to England and the Far East shortly after the turn of the 20th century.

View more on the Thorne Rooms.

Current Exhibitions

Don Coen Men's Art Council and Brown Family Galleries Saturday, October 18, 2014 - Sunday, February 1, 2015

Past Exhibitions

William H. Johnson Orme Lewis Gallery Saturday, April 19, 2014 - Sunday, July 13, 2014

Hollywood Costume Katz Wing, Main Level Wednesday, March 26, 2014 - Sunday, July 6, 2014

Gene Kloss Orme Lewis Gallery Saturday, January 11, 2014 - Sunday, April 6, 2014

Read My Pins Lila and Joel Harnett Gallery Saturday, November 23, 2013 - Sunday, April 20, 2014

The Art of Video Games Steele Gallery Sunday, June 16, 2013 - Sunday, September 29, 2013

Kehinde Wiley Marshall and Hendler Galleries Wednesday, February 20, 2013 - Sunday, June 23, 2013

Frank Lloyd Wright Phoenix Art Museum Sunday, December 18, 2011 - Sunday, April 29, 2012

Ray Wielgus Lyon Gallery Saturday, September 24, 2011 - Monday, January 2, 2012

The Long 19th Century Steele Gallery Saturday, December 11, 2010 - Sunday, January 16, 2011

Cézanne and American Modernism Steele Gallery Thursday, July 1, 2010 - Sunday, September 26, 2010

Elihu Vedder's Drawings for the Rubáiyát Harnett Gallery Saturday, November 15, 2008 - Sunday, February 8, 2009

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