The Reality of Appearance

The Trompe l'Oeil Tradition in American Painting

March 21 – May 3, 1970

West Building Ground Floor

THIS EXHIBITION IS NO LONGER ON VIEW AT THE NATIONAL GALLERY.

Overview: The exhibition included 107 paintings by 30 artists, ranging from the Peale family of the early 1800s to early 20th-century painters. 38 works by William M. Harnett, 16 by John Frederick Peto, and 11 by John Haberle were shown. California art critic Alfred Frankenstein, guest curator of this exhibition for the University Art Museum, Berkeley, conceived and organized the show based on his earlier study of American realists, After the Hunt. His survey separated the still lifes of Harnett from those of Peto, Haberle, and other similar painters, and established a new interest and demand for American 19th-century still life painting.

Image: Installation view of The Reality of Appearance: The Trompe l'Oeil Tradition in American Painting, National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., Gallery Archives

Attendance: 103,192

Catalog: The Reality of Appearance: The Trompe l'Oeil Tradition in American Painting, by Alfred Frankenstein. New York Graphic Society, 1970.

Other Venues: Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, May 19–July 5, 1970
University Art Museum, Berkeley, and California Palace of the Legion of Honor, San Francisco, July 15–August 31, 1970
Detroit Institute of Arts, September 15–October 31, 1970