Art, Art Museums, Museum Exhibitions

The Louvre Mounts a Rare Exhibition of American Paintings

The Musée du Louvre, the High Museum of Art (Atlanta), Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art (Arkansas), and the Terra Foundation for American Art have announced the launch of a four-year collaboration devoted to American art. The first presentation of the “New Frontier” partnership is centered on Thomas Cole (1801–1848) and the rise of American landscape painting. The exhibition, called “New Frontier: American Art Enters the Louvre,” is so laughably tiny, one wonders if it will even be noticed by the visiting public.

http://www.louvre.fr/en/expositions/new-frontier-american-art-enters-louvrebr-thomas-cole-and-birth-landscape-painting-ameri

The works shown in the exhibition are:

  • Thomas Cole, The Cross in Wilderness, 1845 (Louvre)
  • Thomas Cole, Landscape with Figures: A Scene from ‘The Last of the Mohicans’, 1826 (Terra Foundation)
  • Thomas Cole, The Good Shepherd, 1848 (Crystal Bridges)
  • Thomas Cole, The Tempest, 1826 (High)
  • Asher B. Durand, View near Rutland, Vermont, 1837 (High)
  • Pierre-Antoine Patel the Younger, The Summer, 1699 (Louvre)

The Louvre had a record 9 million visitors last year, and about 10 percent of them were American. Yet the iconic Paris art museum only has four American paintings in its huge permanent collection. The Louvre’s collections don’t go beyond the year 1848, so the museum is trying to put the spotlight on early American art.

In Thomas Cole's Cross in the Wilderness, a Native American meditates in front of the burial cross of the pilgrim who converted him.

In Thomas Cole's Cross in the Wilderness, a Native American meditates in front of the burial cross of the pilgrim who converted him. Courtesy of the Louvre Museum

This small, five-painting exhibit will travel to Atlanta and Arkansas later this year. Three other American exhibits will follow in the next four years, focusing on themes such as scenes from daily life and portraits at the time of the American Revolution.
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