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LACMA presents 150 years of American masterpieces

Posted: February 23, 2010 1:43 p.m.
Updated: February 24, 2010 1:42 p.m.
LOS ANGELES -- The Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) presents "American Stories: Paintings of Everyday Life, 1765-1915," a major exhibition highlighting the variety and strength of American artistic achievement during an epochal century and a half, from the colonial era through the period leading to World War I.

"American Stories" -- the first survey of American narrative painting in more than 35 years -- features more than 70 works, including loans from leading museums and private collections, as well as key works from LACMA's collection.

LACMA's presentation -- the exhibition's only West Coast showing -- will be on view in the museum's Art of the Americas building from Feb. 28 through May 23.

Between the American Revolution and World War I, a group of British colonies became states, the frontier pushed westward until the new nation spanned the continent, a rural and agricultural society became urban and industrial and the United States -- reunified after the Civil War under an increasingly powerful federal government -- emerged as a leading participant in world affairs.

Throughout this complicated, transformative period, artists recorded American life as it changed around them.

The exhibition concentrates on a core group of major painters: John Singleton Copley, Charles Willson Peale, George Caleb Bingham, William Sidney Mount, Richard Caton Woodville, Eastman Johnson, Winslow Homer, Thomas Eakins, Mary Cassatt, John Singer Sargent, and George Bellows.

In addition to selections of these artists' works, the exhibition features key examples by lesser-known artists that encompass a broad array of subjects and styles.

LACMA's presentation of American Stories is arranged in five broad chronological sections and includes a supplemental section devoted to stories unique to California.

"American Stories" is organized by The Metropolitan Museum of Art and curated at LACMA by Consulting Curator Bruce Robertson, professor of art history, University of California, Santa Barbara, in collaboration with H. Barbara Weinberg, Alice Pratt Brown Curator of American Paintings and Sculpture, and Carrie Rebora Barratt, associate director for collections and administration, both of The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Margaret C. Conrads, Samuel Sosland Curator of American Art, the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, also contributed to planning the exhibition.

LACMA is located at 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles 90036.


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