National Academy Museum

and School of Fine Arts


Fair and Free: Images of Childhood, 1824-1992

November 26, 1997 - March 8, 1998

The depiction of children in art through the last two centuries is the focus of this appealing winter exhibition, Fair & Free: Images of Childhood, 1827-1992. Noted American artists such as Winslow Homer, NA; Mary Cassatt; CeciIia Beaux, NA; John George Brown, NA; Thomas Wilmer Dewing, NA; Lydia Field Emmet, NA; Eastman Johnson, NA; Charles Parks, NA; and Elihu Vedder, NA, have portrayed children in a wide range of media and in some of their most celebrated works. Fair &Free, features approximately 65 paintings, works on paper, and sculptures, many of which have not been on public view for decades.

Frank Weston Benson (1862-1951)

Portrait of a Child Sewing, 1897

oil on canvas, 21 x 17 inches

Courtesy: National Academy Museum, NA diploma presentation, 1905

Photographer: Glenn Castellano


Antique toys from the notable holdings of The Museum of the City of New York, as well as private collections, adorn the galleries, making the exhibition a welcoming one for children and adults alike. The title Fair &Free derives from a quotation by 19th century American writer Henry T. Tuckerman in an essay Children which appeared in Galaxy Magazine in 1867. Taking this literary connection a step further, a number of quotations about children and childhood culled from various sources are also featured on wall panels throughout the exhibition. Among the poets and writers represented are Charles Dickens from The Children and The Old Curiosity Shop, Alexander Pope (1688 - 1744) from An Essay on Man, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807 - 1882) from The Children 's Hour, Elizabeth Akers Allen (1832- 1911) from Rock Me to Sleep, and Margaret Lee Rutenbur from Our Little Favorite.


Go to next page...

Search for more articles and essays on American art in Resource Library. See America's Distinguished Artists for biographical information on historic artists.

This page was originally published in 2007 in Resource Library Magazine. Please see Resource Library's Overview section for more information.

Copyright 2012 Traditional Fine Arts Organization, Inc., an Arizona nonprofit corporation. All rights reserved.