EXHIBITIONS

American Beauty


February 13 - March 15, 2015
Curated by Kate Gelshenen Rafferty

American artist Thomas Cole's (1801-1848) 1835 Essay on American Scenery championed the American landscape, and its distinctive natural beauty as hallmarks of national identity. American Beauty explores Cole's influence on a number of 19th century American painters working in diverse landscape aesthetics. The exhibition includes work by William Merritt Chase, Ralph Albert Blakelock, and George Inness.

As in the United States, France solicited the support of its citizenry, both moral and financial, through large-format posters displayed in the windows of publicly- and privately-owned venues.  Countries on both sides of the Atlantic commissioned leading artists and illustrators to provide the poster designs and drawings.  Despite their common intentions, the French posters took on a more tragic character than their American counterparts, reflecting the devastation of the landscape and on the lives of soldiers and their families.  The exhibition is an opportunity for CAVT Museums, until recently a body under the War Memorial Corporation umbrella, to reflect on the turbulence of warfare and its portrayal in original works by the likes of Francisque Poulbot and Steinlen.

 

UPCOMING EXHIBITIONS

World War I Posters

Art For The Cause: French Posters from the First World War
March 27 - July 22
Margaret Fish Rahill Great Hall

As in the United States, France solicited the support of its citizenry, both moral and financial, through large-format posters displayed in the windows of publicly- and privately-owned venues. Countries on both sides of the Atlantic commissioned leading artists and illustrators to provide the poster designs and drawings. Despite their common intentions, the French posters took on a more tragic character than their American counterparts, reflecting the devastation of the landscape and on the lives of soldiers and their families. The exhibition is an opportunity for CAVT Museums, until recently a body under the War Memorial Corporation umbrella, to reflect on the turbulence of warfare and its portrayal in original works by the likes of Francisque Poulbot and Steinlen.

Gathered by Harriet Earling Fitch during the war years and after, the collection is a physical embodiment of an American philanthropist’s longstanding relationship with a foreign country. Long before the entrance of the United States into the conflict, Harriet Fitch (later Thwaits Dake) organized and directed the Milwaukee chapter of the Fatherless Children of France and was instrumental in the founding of the Foster Mothers of America. Both organizations and Harriet Earling Fitch’s philanthropic work focused on the care and support of the millions of children left fatherless by one of the deadliest conflicts in world history. For her efforts, she was awarded the Legion of Honor from the French government; her medal will be on display in the exhibition, along with archival news clippings that outline her achievements in her charitable and philanthropic work.

About 20 posters, generously lent by the family of Thomas Van Alyea Jr., will go on display in the museum’s great hall in this small exhibition held 100 years following World War I.

 

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Past Exhibitions