A Retrospective Exhibition of the Work of George Bellows
January 19 – February 24, 1957
THIS EXHIBITION IS NO LONGER ON VIEW AT THE NATIONAL GALLERY.
Overview: This retrospective consisted of 63 paintings and 89 drawings and lithographs, gathered from more than 40 museums and private sources. It was the first one-person show held at the National Gallery and represented a new focus on American art, since the early emphasis had been on European old masters. Especially highlighted was the first Bellows painting added to the Gallery's holdings, Both Members of This Club, presented by Chester Dale in 1945. It became eligible under the Gallery's policy that 20 years must elapse after an artist's death before his or her work could be placed in the collection. Bellows died in 1925. Chester Dale had been introduced by his wife Maud Dale to Bellows since both men liked boxing. She persuaded Chester Dale to have his portrait painted by Bellows (now in the Founder's Room); from then on Chester Dale became interested in art collecting and bought many of Bellows' works.
The opening of the exhibition was attended by Mrs. Bellows and daughters Anne and Jean. The exhibition and catalogue were organized by William P. Campbell with H.V. Allison and Co., the New York dealer of Bellows. The show went on to Columbus, Ohio, birthplace of the artist.
Catalog: George Bellows: A Retrospective Exhibition, introduction by Henry McBride. Washington, DC: National Gallery of Art, 1957.