Opening October 6, 2012 at the Amon Carter Museum of American Art, To See as Artists See: American Art from The Phillips Collection is a landmark exhibition tracing American art from the 1890s to the 1960s. It’s the first time this impressive collection from the esteemed institution in Washington, D.C., has been organized into a large-scale, traveling exhibition. The show features 100 works by 63 artists, and the Amon Carter is one of only two U.S. museums to host the exhibition; previous touring cities include Madrid, Tokyo and Rovereto, Italy.
“This fall the Amon Carter will be the destination for what will surely be one of the most exceptional concentrations of American art ever to appear in North Texas,” says Andrew J. Walker, director of the Amon Carter. “Viewed alongside the Amon Carter’s collection, more than 200 preeminent American paintings from some of the greatest names in American art will be on view, free and open to the public through January 6, 2013. The opportunity to view the collections of these two institutions under one roof is unprecedented; it’s an exhibition not to miss.”
Founded by Duncan Phillips in 1918, The Phillips Collection opened to the public in 1921 as America’s first museum of modern art. Duncan Phillips acquired work that was personal yet connected to the great traditions of the past and present, according to Dorothy Kosinski, director of The Phillips Collection.
“He was one of the few collectors between the wars to champion America’s artistic diversity, collecting works by self-taught artists, artists of color, immigrants and naturalized Americans,” she says. “This early and steadfast commitment to American artists of fresh vision propelled The Phillips Collection as an essential force in American art.”
Arranged into ten thematic groups, the paintings included in To See as Artists See celebrate the very best of American art from the late 19th century through the mid-20th century and draw fascinating parallels to the Amon Carter’s permanent collection; visitors will find many familiar names among the artists in the exhibition. The first section includes paintings by Thomas Eakins, Winslow Homer and George Inness. As the exhibition’s narrative unfolds, it illuminates America’s engagement with various movements, from French Impressionism to Cubism, spotlighting the accomplishments of artists such as Childe Hassam, Maurice Prendergast, John Marin and Stuart Davis. The exhibition also reveals America’s engagement with nature, showcasing work by the artists associated with photographer and gallerist Alfred Stieglitz, including Arthur Dove and Georgia O’Keeffe.
The urban landscape figures prominently in the show as well with the work of Edward Hopper, Charles Sheeler and John Sloan. American scene painters like Allan Rohan Crite, Yasuo Kuniyoshi and Jacob Lawrence are represented in addition to landmark artists of Abstract Expressionism such as Richard Diebenkorn, Jackson Pollock and Mark Rothko.
“Duncan Phillips created a truly unique institution, carefully and cogently structuring within it one of the world’s great collections of American art,” says Rebecca Lawton, the Amon Carter’s curator of paintings and sculpture. “Today, what makes the collection so impressive, and what we take away from the experience of viewing this exhibition, is the astonishing breadth of Phillips’ vision. It encompassed not just the acknowledged heroes of the 19th century, the modernist masters and the giants of mid-20th-century painting, but also those artists who figure prominently with the modern tradition but whose works fall outside the conventional art historical ‘isms’.”
To See as Artists See: American Art from The Phillips Collection was organized by The Phillips Collection, Washington, D.C. After its run in Fort Worth the exhibition returns home to The Phillips Collection for a special presentation in 2014.
SPECIAL EVENT: Thursday, October 25, 6:00 pm. The directors of the Amon Carter and The Phillips Collection reflect on the founding, building, and continual evolution of these two prestigious museums in A Tale of Two Collections conversation at the Fort Worth museum.