slides: Sneak Preview: RISD Museum’s ‘Making It In America’ Exhibit
Tuesday, September 03, 2013
To see a preview of paintings and objects from Making it in America, see the slides below.
Learning American History Through Art
"American art has played a central role at the RISD Museum since its earliest days, and we celebrate this legacy with Making It in America," said Museum director John W. Smith. "Drawn exclusively from our phenomenal permanent collection, this show is our first in-depth exploration of this subject in many years."
These pieces, created between the early 1700s and early 1900s, are presented as examples of both artistic processes and aspirations. Just as individual accounts of American life revolve around searches for freedom, fulfillment, and identity, these stories are also embedded in objects that comprise the history of American art. In order to present these distinct American experiences the best way possible, curators have decided to liberate artwork from the Museum's galleries, storage vaults, and the historic period rooms of its Pendleton House wing, repositioning them within the broader context of American styles.
"The title is a double entendre that asks our viewers to think about art making and about how American art demonstrates American ideas about success," said exhibition co-curators Maureen O'Brien, curator of painting and sculpture, and Elizabeth Williams, curator of decorative arts and design.
Rare Glimpse Into the Past
According to the co-curators, this exhibition will provide exciting opportunities for visitors to explore the Museum's rich holdings, closely examining objects that may have been behind ropes in period rooms or held in storage.
Williams, who joined the RISD Museum in January and has spent much of her first year exploring the diverse decorative arts collection, looks forward to presenting 60 pieces of silver, furniture, glass, ceramics, and jewelry—more than half of which haven't been on view in decades.
"Although many of the works in Making It in America have been on view in galleries throughout the Museum, visitors who see discrete selections rarely get a sense of the scope and quality of our collections," says O'Brien.
Timeline of American Achievement
The exhibit will also provide a loose timeline of what happened in American art making and when. The theme of celebrating the process of making art and artistic achievement has been a cornerstone of RISD since its inception.
Inspired by the international display of art and commerce at the 1876 Centennial Exhibition, the RISD College and Museum were established in 1877 with the mission to train American designers and publicly promote American art. The Museum's earliest "contemporary" purchase, in 1901, was Winslow Homer's thundering seascape On a Lee Shore (1900), soon followed by the acquisition of important colonial portraits and American landscape paintings. In 1906, the RISD Museum built Pendleton House, the country's first museum wing devoted to the display of American decorative arts, thus elevating the importance of native craftsmanship in the study of material culture.
Preview Making it in America by browing these highlighted images, below.
The RISD Museum's Making it in America was designed by Thomas Jayne, a renowned decorator, decorative arts historian, and principal of Jayne Design Studio. For more information about the upcoming exhibit visit risdmuseum.org.
- Art Review: RISD Museum’s New Shows
- Changing Poses: The Artist’s Model at RISD Museum
- Highlights of RISD Museum’s “Made in the UK” Exhibit
- Lynda Benglis Opens at RISD Museum
- Major UK Art Collection Coming to RISD Museum
- NEW: RISD Museum Announces Fall/Winter Schedule
- NEW: RISD Museum Caps Campaign with $250K From Champlin Foundations
- NEW: RISD Museum Names John W. Smith of Smithsonian as New Director
- NEW: RISD Museum Names New Curator of Decorative Arts + Design
- RISD Museum Announces Call for Video Submissions
- RISD Museum Director John Smith: 13 To Watch in RI in 2013
- RISD Museum Opens ‘America In View’ Landscape Photography Exhibit
- RISD Museum Partners With NYC Firm To Launch New Visuals + Website
- RISD Museum Reveals Renovated Ancient and Medieval Galleries
- RISD Museum’s Artist/Rebel/Dandy Exhibit Coming in April
- RISD Museum’s Two Bright, Pop Shows
- Review: Spencer Finch’s Painting Air at RISD Museum