The Metropolitan Museum of Art

New York, NY



Summer Selections: American Landscape Drawings and Watercolors in The Metropolitan Museum of Art

May 29-September 2, 2001


Summer 2001 will mark the inaugural season of a series of annual exhibitions drawn from the Museum's collection of works on paper created by American artists between the 1780s and 1900. This year's presentation of Summer Selections will include some three dozen drawings, watercolors, and pastels of landscape subjects, and will open to the public through September 2, 2001. (left: Winslow Homer (1836-1910), A Wall, Nassau, 1898, Watercolor and graphite on off-white wove paper, 14 7/8 x 21 3/8 inches, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Amelia B. Lazarus Fund, 1910, (10.228.9), © The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York )

Among the artists whose work will be on view in the installation are Thomas Cole, Asher Brown Durand, George Inness, Winslow Homer, and John LaFarge. Future Summer Selections will present other choice examples from the Metropolitan's collection of American works on paper. (right: Maurice Prendergast (1858-1924), Excursionists, Nahant, ca. 1896-97, Watercolor, gouache, and graphite underdrawing on paper, 19 3/8 x 14 1/4 inches, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Lesley and Emma Sheafer Collection, Bequest of Emma A. Sheafer, 1973, (1974.356.2), Photograph by Geoffrey Clements, © The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York )

The origins of the Metropolitan's collection of American works on paper can be traced to the 1880s ­ the decade after the Museum was founded. Now numbering more than 1,500 drawings, the Museum's holdings include outstanding examples by some of the nation's preeminent artists. They are on view infrequently because of their sensitivity to light.


Following is wall text from the exhibition:

This selection of landscapes in various media inaugurates annual exhibitions of both highlights and seldom-seen works from the more than fifteen hundred drawings in the Department of American Paintings and Sculpture. These range in date from the era of the American Revolution to that of World War II, but most reflect the development of landscape on paper from about 1825 to 1910. Thanks to gifts and bequests in the Metropolitan Museum's first century, the collection is strong in early watercolor landscapes, ranging from the topographical works of the early 19th century, reflecting New York City's rising status as a port, to the years just before and during the first decade--the 1870s--of the American Watercolor Society. Important acquisitions, many of them purchases, from the early years of the 20th century updated the history of American watercolor landscapes with superb examples of the work of Winslow Homer, James Whistler, Maurice Prendergast, and the American Impressionists, and added pastel to the media represented in the collection. In more recent years, the Museum has built a just representation of Hudson River School drawings in graphite, and the decade of the 1990s has seen significant augmentation of the collection of American Pre-Raphaelite watercolors and drawings.
© 2001, The Metropolitan Museum of Art. All rights reserved.


The Web site of the Metropolitan Museum ( will feature the exhibition.

The installation, on view at The Henry R. Luce Center for the Study of American Art, The American Wing, is organized by Kevin J. Avery, Associate Curator, American Paintings and Sculpture.

Read more about the Metropolitan Museum of Art in Resource Library Magazine

Please click on thumbnail images bordered by a red line to see enlargements.

For further biographical information on selected artists cited above please see America's Distinguished Artists, a national registry of historic artists.

This page was originally published in Resource Library Magazine. Please see Resource Library's Overview section for more information. rev. 5/28/11

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