Americans in Spain: Painting and Travel, 1820-1920
February 13, 2021
dunaway13 (980 articles)

Americans in Spain: Painting and Travel, 1820-1920

On View: February 12, 2021 — May 16, 2021
Located in: Special Exhibition Galleries
Chrysler Museum of Art
One Memorial Place, Norfolk, Virginia 23510 * 757-664-6200
Painting: Mary Cassatt (American, 1844–1926), Spanish Girl Leaning on a Window Sill, ca. 1872, Oil on canvas, Manuel Piñanes García-Olías, Madrid
Americans in Spain: Painting and Travel, 1820-1920 explores a pivotal moment, in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, when American artists and their European counterparts flocked to Spain to capture its scenic charms and seemingly exotic customs.

Co-organized by the Chrysler Museum of Art and the Milwaukee Art Museum, the exhibition is developed around each institution’s unique collection of American and old master paintings. The show features works by Mary Cassatt, William Merritt Chase, Robert Henri, John Singer Sargent, and others alongside their Spanish contemporaries and the country’s Old Masters.

Painting: Juan Bautista Martinez del Mazo (Spanish, 1591–1652), Queen Mariana, ca. 1652-53, Oil on canvas, New-York Historical Society, Gift of Thomas Jefferson Bryan

Americans in Spain examines the widespread influence of Spanish art and culture on American painting. For many artists, particularly in the second half of the nineteenth century, Spain was a requisite stop on their European tour. A large number of America’s most prominent artists—many of them establishing their artistic footing—traveled to the country for training and to study its Old Masters at the Prado Museum. They, in turn, absorbed and translated into their own work Spanish subjects and styles.

While a few books and catalogues have been devoted to American artists’ experience in (and fascination with) Spain, the subject has been given far less treatment than other aspects of the grand tour. Americans in Spain is the first exhibition to present this important period of American art to a wide audience, and it will expand on previous studies by emphasizing a focused range of topics: Spain’s Islamic culture, the country’s economic and political situation and international status at the time, the impact of Spain’s painters on American artists, the Prado Museum as a center of study, and the critical and popular reception of these American painters’ Spanish works. …

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