DAYTON, OH.- From September 20, 2008 to January 4, 2009, The Dayton Art Institute will host the special exhibition Children in American Art. On loan from the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, this exhibition explores how works of art from the 17th century to the 20th century document changing views of children in American society. Among the portraits and genre scene paintings are works by renowned artists John Singleton Copley, Gilbert Stuart, James Abbott McNeill Whistler, Winslow Homer, Mary Cassatt, and John Singer Sargent.
We are excited to be hosting this selection of outstanding paintings from the renowned American art collection in Boston, said Janice Driesbach, Director and CEO of The Dayton Art Institute. Visitors will relish the opportunity to view fine works by some of Americas greatest artists. As well, they can gain insights into how both our culture and dominant artistic styles have evolved over the course of time.
In the 18th century, artists portrayed children much as they did adults formally posed in grand settings and wearing expensive clothing as an advertisement of their wealth and social stature. But by the early 19th century, children began to be shown from another perspective frolicking on their way home from school, playing sports and games, helping with family chores, and posed affectionately with their parents. At the beginning of the 20th century, Impressionist-inspired painters used light-filled techniques to create elegant, sensitive images of children.
Paintings in the exhibition are displayed in chronological order to support the following themes: Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries: Children as Miniature Adults, Early Nineteenth Century: Charming Children and Loving Families, Mid-Nineteenth Century: Children at Work and Play, Late Nineteenth Century: Children and Society, Turn of the Century: Children Indoors and Out.
Highlights of the exhibition include: John Singleton Copley, Mary and Elizabeth Royall, c. 1758; Gilbert Stuart, Francis Malbone and His Brother Saunders, c. 1773; Samuel Finley Breese Morse, Little Miss Hone, 1824; Eastman Johnson, Writing to Father, 1863; Winslow Homer, Boys in a Pasture, 1874; James Abbott McNeill Whistler, Little Rose of Lyme Regis, 1895; Mary Cassatt, Ellen Mary in a White Coat, c. 1896; John Singer Sargent, Helen Sears, 1895; Frank Weston Benson, Calm Morning, 1904; Robert Earle Henri, Irish Girl (Mary ODonnel), 1913; Allan Rohan Crite, Tire Jumping in Front of My Window, 1936-47.
Children in American Art includes 46 paintings from the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, along with three additional works on loan from the Butler Institute of American Art in Youngstown, Ohio. These include Ralph Earls The Stryker Sisters, 1787; William Tylee Ranneys On the Wing, c. 1850; and Robert Gwathmeys Children Dancing, c. 1948. The Dayton Art Institute will also display its own Cecilia Beaux painting, The Velie Boys, 1913.
The Dayton Art Institutes display of CHILDREN IN AMERICAN ART is presented by Premier Health Partners. This exhibition was organized by the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and the Nagoya/Boston Museum of Fine Arts.