Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts

Left photo: David Graham, Right photo: Nathan Benn

Philadelphia, PA



American Watercolors at the Pennsylvania Academy


"American Watercolors at the Pennsylvania Academy" opens October 14, 2000 and runs through January 7, 2001 at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. This major exhibition of rarely displayed objects will bring together for the first time in the history of PAFA the highlights of more than a century of watercolor collecting. "American Watercolors at the Pennsylvania Academy" will feature over 120 watercolors by nearly as many artists spanning more than two centuries of styles, from the neoclassicism of Benjamin West to the abstraction of Robert Motherwell and beyond. Drawn primarily from the Museum's permanent holdings, as well as from a few select local private collections, this exhibition will offer visitors a special opportunity to view some of the finest watercolors in the Philadelphia area. (left: Winslow Homer, North Road, Bermuda, 1900, watercolor and pencil on white wove paper, Partial gift of Mrs. John Wintersteen)

"American Watercolors at the Pennsylvania Academy" will present works by some of the most celebrated watercolorists in the history of American art, including Winslow Homer , Thomas Eakins, William Trost Richards, Cecilia Beaux, John Singer Sargent, Maurice Brazil Prendergast, Charles Demuth, Arthur G. Dove, John Marin, Edward Hopper, Charles Burchfield, and Andrew Wyeth.

It is especially significant that the Academy is organizing this exhibition for the fall of 2000, the year in which the Philadelphia Water Color Club celebrates its centennial anniversary. Founded in 1900, the Philadelphia Water Color Club co-sponsored the annual Philadelphia Water Color Exhibition, held at the Academy from its inception in 1904 until 1969, when the Academy ceased all of its Annual Exhibitions. These juried exhibitions, from which the Museum acquired many of its graphic treasures, were among the most prestigious of their kind in the United States and regularly included watercolor paintings by the aforementioned artists. (right; Charles Demuth, Box of Tricks, 1919, gouache and graphite on cardboard, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts)

Works by all of these watercolorists will be featured in "American Watercolors at the Pennsylvania Academy," as well as examples by other renowned practitioners, including Stuart Davis, Hans Hoffman, Franz Kline, Milton Avery, Jacob Lawrence, Sam Gilliam, and many more. By highlighting those artists who were Water Color Club members, as well as those who participated in the Academy's watercolor annuals, the exhibition will demonstrate PAFA's crucial historical role in cultivating the production, display, and collection of watercolor painting both regionally and nationally.

"American Watercolors at the Pennsylvania Academy" organized by Jonathan P. Binstock, Assistant Curator, will serve as a major exhibition of 2000 and PAFA's first large-scale scholarly project since the critically acclaimed blockbuster, Maxfield Parrish, 1870-1966 (summer 1999). A variety of adult and family educational programming--lectures, gallery talks, symposia, performances--will accompany its presentation, as well as a fully illustrated catalogue with an essay by art historian and former Academy Curator of Collections Kathleen A. Foster, recipient of the College Art Association's 1998 Eric Mitchell Prize in Art History for her book, Thomas Eakins Rediscovered (Pennsylvania Academy and Yale University Press, 1997). (left: Jacob Lawrence, Images of Labor, 1980, gouache on paper, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts)


Read more about the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Resource Library Magazine.

Please click on thumbnail images bordered by a red line to see enlargements.

For further biographical information on selected artists cited above please see America's Distinguished Artists, a national registry of historic artists.

This page was originally published in Resource Library Magazine. Please see Resource Library's Overview section for more information. rev. 3/2/11

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