A new installation of 70 paintings from the Smithsonian American Art Museums collection will be on view indefinitely in the Grand Salon of the museums branch, the Renwick Gallery
. The installation features landscapes, portraits and allegorical works by 51 American artists from the 1840s to the 1930s. Many of these paintings have not been exhibited in a number of years. Artists whose works are on view include Edward Mitchell Bannister, Romaine Brooks, Elliott Daingerfield, Daniel Garber, William Morris Hunt, George Inness, Homer Dodge Martin, Albert Pinkham Ryder, Abbott Handerson Thayer, John Henry Twachtman and Irving R. Wiles. The room is installed salon style, with paintings hung one-atop-another and side by side. A visitor guide will be available in the Grand Salon with short biographies of the artists.
Notable works in the installation include Edmund Tarbells commanding equestrian portrait of Marshal Ferdinand Foch (1920) and Frederick Waughs epic canvas The Knight of the Holy Grail (1912) based on Tennysons Idylls of the King. Other works displaying literary, mythological, biblical and allegorical subjects are Circe (1910) by Frederick Stuart Church and Fishermen at Sea (about 1913) by Henry Ossawa Tanner. The power of reading to unleash the imagination is evident in Book of Pictures (1910-1917) by Kenyon Cox and Mother and Child (Lady Shannon and Kitty) (about 1900-1910) by James Jebusa Shannon.
The installation features portraits of several of the artists whose paintings are on display, including an undated portrait by Nicholas R. Brewer of William Henry Holmes, first director of the museum and noted geologist and painter. A number of self-portraits are on view, including the haunting Self-Portrait (1923) by Brooks, Self-Portrait with Palette (about 1906) by Alice Pike Barney and In My Studio (1931) by Leopold Seyffert.