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September 20, 2008 - January 4, 2009

 

From September 20, 2008 to January 4, 2009, The Dayton Art Institute will host the special exhibition Children in American Art. On loan from the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, this exhibition explores how works of art from the 17th century to the 20th century document changing views of children in American society. Among the portraits and genre scene paintings are works by renowned artists John Singleton Copley, Gilbert Stuart, James Abbott McNeill Whistler, Winslow Homer, Mary Cassatt, and John Singer Sargent.

Children in American Art includes 46 paintings from the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, along with three additional works on loan from the Butler Institute of American Art in Youngstown, Ohio. These include Ralph Earl's The Stryker Sisters, 1787; William Tylee Ranney's On the Wing, c. 1850; and Robert Gwathmey's Children Dancing, c. 1948. The Dayton Art Institute will also display its own Cecilia Beaux painting, The Velie Boys, 1913.

In the 18th century, artists portrayed children much as they did adults -- formally posed in grand settings and wearing expensive clothing as an advertisement of their wealth and social stature. But by the early 19th century, children began to be shown from another perspective -- frolicking on their way home from school, playing sports and games, helping with family chores, and posed affectionately with their parents. At the beginning of the 20th century, Impressionist-inspired painters used light-filled techniques to create elegant, sensitive images of children.

Paintings in the exhibition are displayed in chronological order to support the following themes:

"We are excited to be hosting this selection of outstanding paintings from the renowned American art collection in Boston," said Janice Driesbach, Director and CEO of The Dayton Art Institute. "Visitors will relish the opportunity to view fine works by some of America's greatest artists. As well, they can gain insights into how both our culture and dominant artistic styles have evolved over the course of time."

(above: James Abbot McNeill Whistler, American (active in England), 1843-1903, Little Rose of Lyme Regis, 1895, Oil on canvas. Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Warren Collection - William Wilkins Warren Fund. Photograph © 2008 Museum of Fine Arts, Boston)

 

Highlights of the exhibition include:

 

(above: Mary Stevenson Cassatt, American, 1844-1926, Ellen Mary in a White Coat, c. 1896, Oil on canvas. Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, anonymous Fractional Gift in honor of Ellen Mary Cassatt. Photograph © 2008 Museum of Fine Arts, Boston)

 

To view a related essay by Janice Driesbach, Director and CEO, The Dayton Art Institute, please click here.

To view related programs and three more images please click here.

To view four more images please click here.

 

(above: John Singleton Copley, American, 1738-1815, Mary and Elizabeth Royall, c. 1758, Oil on canvas. Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Julia Knight Fox Fund. Photograph © 2008 Museum of Fine Arts, Boston)

 

(above: Winslow Homer, American, 1836-1910, Boys in a Pasture, . Oil on canvas. Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the Hayden Collection - Charles Henry Hayden Fund. Photograph © 2008 Museum of Fine Arts, Boston)

 

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