150 Years of Philadelphia Painters and Paintings: Selections from the Sewell C. Biggs Museum of American Art
January 25 to March 26, 1999
Please click on images for enlargements.
Through March 26, 1999 the Library Company of Philadelphia is exhibiting historic paintings from the collection of the Sewell C. Biggs Museum of American Art. The exhibition of twenty-one oil paintings and watercolors marks the first significant loan from the Biggs Museum in Dover, Delaware.
The paintings are either views of the Philadelphia region or are by painters who lived or studied in Philadelphia. Canvases date from the late 18th century to the mid-20th century. Subject matter includes portraits, still lifes, landscapes, genre scenes and seascapes. The subjects offer a unique view of a century and a half of life in the Delaware Valley and reveal the many associations that formed Philadelphia's rich artistic heritage. Many works featured in the exhibit are unpublished, are virtually unknown, and have never been exhibited in the 20th century outside their Delaware home.
The exhibition of twenty-one oil paintings and watercolors marks the first significant loan from the Biggs Museum in Dover, Delaware.
Represented in the exhibition is an unrecorded view of the Capitol in Washington, DC and views of regional landmarks including the South Street Bridge, Pennsylvania Railroad Station at 30th Street, Wissahickon Creek, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Old York Road, the Schuylkill and Delaware Rivers. In addition, portraits and still lifes trace the history and artistic development of Philadelphia's Peale family. Included are works by Charles Willson Peale, his brother James, and Peale family contemporaries such as William Trost Richards. Also notable in the exhibition are paintings by Thomas Sully, Russell Smith, James Hamilton, Frederick Judd Waugh, Frederick Wagner, and Alice Barber Stephens, a student of Thomas Eakins.
A 48 page catalogue of the exhibition, with entries by exhibition curator Milo M. Naeve, is available through the Biggs Museum of American Art. Mr. Naeve, Field-McCormick Curator Emeritus of American Art at the Art Institute of Chicago, is a member of the board of directors of both the Biggs Museum and the Library Company. The catalogue includes reproductions of all twenty-one paintings from the exhibition (four in color).
Library Company of Philadelphia is located on Locust Street, between Broad Street and 13th Street in Center City Philadelphia and the exhibition gallery is open 9:00 a.m. - 4:45 p.m. weekdays. For information call (215) 546-3181.
The Biggs Museum is located in the heart of historic Dover, Delaware at 406 Federal Street. The Museum is in the same building as the Delaware State Visitor Center. Hours are Wednesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Sunday 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. Closed Monday, Tuesday, and state holidays. Admission is free.
Images from top to bottom: William Trost Richards, Rolling Surf, 1897, watercolor and gouache, 16 7/8 x 25 1/4 inches; Frederick Judd Waugh, Heavy Surf, 1915, oil on canvas, 28 5/16 x 36 1/8 inches; Isaac L. Williams, View of the U. S. Capitol, Washington, D.C., 1865-75, watercolor and gouache, 6 7/8 x 10 1/8 inches; Charles Wilson Peale (attributed), Portrait of Maskell Ewing, 1788, oil on canvas, 36 1/8 x 27 inches; Alice Barber Stephens, The Germania Orchestra at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, 1891, oil on academy board, 18 7/8 x 25 inches; Thomas Sully (attributed), Portrait of Lieutenant John Montgomery Dale, 1818, oil on canvas, 30 1/8 x 25 1/8 inches. All paintings from the collection of Biggs Museum of American Art; images courtesy of Biggs Museum of American Art.
For further biographical information on selected artists cited above please see America's Distinguished Artists, a national registry of historic artists.
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