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American Art

NEWS
January 31, 2012 | By Stephan Salisbury, Inquirer Culture Writer
That the Philadelphia Museum of Art is hosting a major van Gogh exhibition - it opens Wednesday - would be no mystery to the devoted Japanese pilgrims who bear ancestral ashes halfway across the world to commingle them with the earth of Vincent van Gogh's grave north of Paris. Nor would it be difficult to understand for the Russians who pour vodka onto the dark red soil of the same spot. The thousands from all over the world who travel to Auvers-sur-Oise, where van Gogh is buried next to his brother Theo, would understand.
NEWS
October 16, 2011 | By Stephan Salisbury, Inquirer Culture Writer
For more than four decades, Sande Webster has been a torch on the Philadelphia art scene. First at Locust Street Gallery, founded by Webster and three partners, then on her own, she has been a force for the commercial exhibition of photography, ceramics, and textiles as art, and - perhaps most notably - has provided an uninterrupted outlet for the work of African American artists. After 42 years running a gallery here, through the recessions of the early 1980s, the early 1990s, and the early 2000s, Webster is finally closing.
NEWS
October 9, 2011 | By Edward J. Sozanski, Contributing Art Critic
As Bank of America expanded in recent decades by absorbing other banks, it built up a substantial collection of art once owned by those banks. The Philadelphia Museum of Art recently exhibited one such constituent collection, a group of watercolors by the 19th-century painter Alfred Jacob Miller. Through the end of the year, the African American Museum in Philadelphia is featuring another aspect of Bank of America's art holdings - paintings, works on paper, and a few sculptures and mixed-media pieces by African American artists.
NEWS
August 21, 2011 | By Edward J. Sozanski, Contributing Art Critic
Jonathan Westervelt Warner, known as Jack, has spent more than half his 94 years building up an impressive collection of American fine and decorative arts - between 700 and 800 objects made over nearly two centuries. Until recently, the public could visit the collection at the institution he created in 2003 to display it, the Westervelt-Warner Museum of American Art in Tuscaloosa, Ala., where he lives. But over the last year, and particularly in recent months, the Warner collection has been sundered, and some of its more important paintings have been sold.
NEWS
June 19, 2011 | By Edward J. Sozanski, Contributing Art Critic
Alfred Jacob Miller was one of a half-dozen American artists, some foreign-born, who introduced the Western frontier, particularly indigenous cultures, to American art. This happened mainly in the 1830s, when Miller and his contemporaries ventured beyond the Mississippi River into the Great Plains, as far as the Rocky Mountains. The first to go, perhaps the most prolific and best-known Indian painter, was George Catlin, a native of Wilkes-Barre, who traveled up the Missouri River for 2,000 miles with an American Fur Co. expedition in 1832.
NEWS
June 3, 2011 | By David Iams, For The Inquirer
  The twin catalogs for next weekend's sale of modern and contemporary arts and crafts at the Rago Arts and Auction Center present a history of the movements and creators of the last 110 years, from the well-established to the up-and-coming. Just as remarkable is the sale itself. The more than 1,300 lots of furniture, ceramics, glass, metalwork, and decorative art for sale at the two-day event in Lambertville include works by many of the best-known names in an abundance seldom seen.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 21, 2011 | By MARIA ZANKEY, zankeym@phillynews.com 215-854-5444
Mary Cassatt's style of composing lifelike paintings of mothers and children with abstract detail and deliberate brushstrokes solidified her stature in the 19th-century art scene, but this Philadelphia-raised artist's influence travels beyond her maternal subjects. Kathy Foster, the curator of American Art at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, credits Cassatt, who attended the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts before moving to Paris, as a "wedge" in bringing Impressionistic paintings to the U.S. "Mary Cassatt was not a bohemian," Foster said.
NEWS
March 8, 2011 | By Stephan Salisbury, Inquirer Culture Writer
Maybe it shouldn't be a surprise that a masterpiece in the basement goes unnoticed for more than half a century. It is a wonder, however, when a neglected nothing, a dirty ragamuffin of a painting, is suddenly noticed amid a quarter-million stored confreres - is pulled out, looked at, looked at more closely, and finally recognized for what it really is beneath the soot, the grime, the clouded varnish: a treasure. This is precisely what happened with George Inness' 1851 landscape Twilight on the Campagna , acquired by the Philadelphia Museum of Art in 1945 as part of a bequest from Judge Alex Simpson Jr., then shipped to storage Siberia in the early 1950s.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 24, 2010 | By Edward J. Sozanski, Contributing Art Critic
Visitors to the Barnes Foundation eventually discover that there's much more to its extraordinary display than its renowned groups of impressionist, postimpressionist, and early modern paintings. There is, for instance, a sizable body of American art that accounts for about a quarter of the works installed in the Merion galleries. One room, Gallery 12, is devoted entirely to the American artists Albert C. Barnes knew and collected in depth. Despite this, and the fact that at least two American works hang in each gallery, in the public's perception the American artists continue to be eclipsed by European stars such as Renoir, Cezanne, Picasso, and Matisse.
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