American Visions: 1870–1940, Works from the Bank of America Collection | Montclair Art Museum
(MAM) & Yard School of Art offer American, Native American, & contemporary art exhibitions, programs, & classes in NJ



Exhibition Highlights the Emergence of a Uniquely American Style of Painting


MONTCLAIR, NJ, January 19, 2016—Beginning February 7, 2016, the Montclair Art Museum will present a sweeping survey of American art at the turn of the 20th century, American Visions: 1870–1940, Works from the Bank of America Collection. The exhibition provides a thought-provoking historical context for American Impressionism by positioning it between the Hudson River School—whose majestic landscapes influenced, then gradually gave way to, French Impressionist–inspired works—and the modernist trends evident in the later pieces on view. It will continue through June 19, 2016.


American Visions: 1870–1940 traces the emergence of a truly American style of painting by concentrating on regional artists’ colonies established across the United States during this period. The areas represented range from Cos Cob and Old Lyme, Connecticut to Boston, Gloucester, and Cape Ann, Massachusetts, to New Hope, Pennsylvania, to Illinois and Missouri, to New Mexico and California. An entire section of the exhibition is devoted to Native American cultures around New Mexico, complementing MAM’s Native American permanent collection.


The exhibition features works by a diverse group of over 70 artists including Childe Hassam, Thomas Moran, John Sloan, Ernest Lawson, Daniel Garber, George Bellows, Lila Cabot Perry, and Guy Carleton Wiggins. The variety of work explores the ways in which local artists interpreted America’s rural, maritime, and urban spaces. Portraying daily life and the world around them, these artists often used the Impressionist devices of capturing a moment in time with brisk, broken brushstrokes, a vibrant palette, and atmospheric effects. A special section in MAM’s George Inness Gallery will feature artists including William Morris Hunt and Inness, who were influenced by the informal compositions of French painting alongside atmospheric landscapes later characterized as Tonalist by other artists such as Charles Warren Eaton.


American Visions: 1870–1940 features 84 paintings and works on paper from the Bank of America Art in our Communities program. “The arts enrich our communities, celebrate the past and inspire our future,” said Bob Doherty, New Jersey state president for Bank of America. “We’re proud to partner with the Montclair Art Museum by lending pieces from our Bank of America Collection for the benefit of all visitors. By sharing these dynamic works of American art, we hope to foster great learning and inspiration.”


The exhibition at the Montclair Art Museum is organized by Gail Stavitsky, MAM chief curator.



Public Programs

Public and family programs accompanying the exhibition will provide fun, education, and inspiration for all ages. Highlights include:


American Artist Colonies Panel Discussion

Thursday, April 14, 7 p.m.

$12 members/$15 nonmembers/$5 student with ID


Inspired by MAM’s special exhibition American Visions: 1870–1940, Works from the Bank of America Collection, Professor Adrienne Baxter Bell, art historian and author, will moderate a panel discussion on the emergence of American artist colonies, including the Montclair Art Colony of the late 19th century, as well as on artists’ interpretations of America’s rural, maritime, and urban spaces, then and now.


Family Day

Sunday, May 22, 1–4 p.m.

$10 nonmember family (up to 6 people)/FREE Family-level members and above


Participate in a day of exploration with many dynamic Museum-wide art activities reflecting MAM’s current exhibition, American Visions: 1870-1940, Works from the Bank of America Collection.



Exhibition Sponsorship

American Visions: 1870-1940, Works from the Bank of America Collection is provided by the Bank of America Art in our Communities program. This exhibition is made possible at the Montclair Art Museum with generous support from Thomas and Karen Buckley, Bob and Bobbie Constable, Tracy Higgins and James Leitner, Adrian A. Shelby and Edward Bindel, and Margo and Frank Walter.



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