In 2012, the Terra Foundation for American Art, the High Museum of Art, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, and the Musée du Louvre announced a four-year collaboration to explore American and European art through programming and annual exhibitions that draw from the collections of each institution.
The first installation from this collaboration debuted at the Louvre in January 2012. This exhibition explored the birth of American landscape paintings, particularly works by Thomas Cole and Asher B. Durand.
In January 2013, the Louvre opened the second exhibition, American Art Enters the Louvre: The Origins of American Genre Painting, on view through April 22. This exhibition looks at the ways in which genre paintings from the early nineteenth century helped the young United States articulate its identity and culture. The American genre paintings on display include Arthur Fitzwilliam Tait’s The Life of the Hunter: A Tight Fix, Eastman Johnson’s Negro Life at the South, and George Caleb Bingham’s The Jolly Flatboatmen. These works will be shown along with two paintings that significantly influenced the American style: Dutch painter Jan Steen’s Festive Family Meal and English painter William Mulready’s Train Up a Child.
Accompanying this exhibition is the English catalogue American Encounters: Genre Painting and Everyday Life, and the French catalogue New Frontier: Les travaux et les jours: aux sources de la peinture américaine de genre. Both editions feature an essay by Peter John Brownlee and more than twenty-five full-color illustrations. The catalogues were produced by Marquand Books and designed by Zach Hooker.
For more information about the exhibition and its travel itinerary, visit the Terra Foundation for American Art. To purchase a copy of the catalogue American Encounters: Genre Painting and Everyday Life, visit the University of Washington Press.
Photography by Jeremy Linden