European and American Painting and Sculpture (1700-1900)

The strength of the eighteenth- and nineteenth-century holdings is in French academic art with works from the “long” nineteenth century (1789–1914) well represented. Many of the artists featured here belonged to the Académie des Beaux-Arts (Academy of Fine Arts). Studying their art contributes to our understanding of the social and political structures that underpin cultural production. Punctuated with examples of American, British, Italian, Irish and German works, the holdings offer a broad survey of styles and subjects. Especially notable are portraits by George Romney (1734–1802), Gilbert Stuart (1755–1828), and John Singer Sargent (1856–1925).

A rich collection of sketches, many of which come from the Noah and Muriel Butkin Collection, offers visitors a glimpse into the rigors of academic practice and illustrates the sketch aesthetic that opened the way for greater abstraction and expression in the decades before World War I.

The art of the Spanish Americas offers opportunities to explore the impact on the artistic production of European missionary and colonialist incursions into Indigenous lands, where traditions clashed and transformed each other. 

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