Treasures from the National Museum of American Art

William Kloss, Author, National Museum of American Art, Author, Charles C. Eldredge, Foreword by Smithsonian Books $45 (256p) ISBN 978-0-87474-594-8
Selected paintings and sculptures from the Smithsonian's National Museum of American Art are on view in a nationally touring exhibition, and this attractive catalogue shows what a rich, varied and relevant colleciton it is. Alvin Fisher's spellbinding 1820 oil of Niagara Falls arched by a rainbow holds out the visionary promise of the American dream. But Albert Ryder's violent, stormy Flying Dutchman (1887) seems to mirror a national psyche in profound turmoil. In Ivan Albright's cynical The Farmer's Kitchen, painted in 1933, the morbid portrayal of a wrinkled old woman with her manic cat bespeaks the chaos of the Depression. Pictures by Kline and Rauschenberg put us in touch with modern dislocations and anguish. Among the 81 works reproduced here in full-page color plates are Frederic E. Church's spectacular Aurora Borealis, Whistler's semi-abstract meditation on a Chilean harbor and Baziotes's biomorphic squiggles. The album is a good place to make the acquaintance of such neglected artists as social caricaturist Paul Cadmus, Surrealist Helen Ludeberg and Impressionist Julian Weir. Interleaved with their works are pictures by Cole, Copley, Homer, Prendergast, Wyeth, Cassatt. (March)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1986
Release date: 01/01/1986
Paperback - 256 pages - 978-0-87474-595-5
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