National Gallery of Art - EXHIBITIONS

IMAGE: American Masters from Bingham to Eakins: The John Wilmerding Collection, May 9 - October 10, 2004

This exhibition is no longer on view at the National Gallery. Please follow the links below for related online resources or visit our current exhibitions schedule.

IMAGE:Image: John Frederick Peto, American, (1854 - 1907), Take Your Choice, 1885, John Wilmerding CollectionShowcasing one of the most important private collections of 19th-century American art, the exhibition consists of fifty-one works of art by twenty-six American artists. Works by such masters as George Caleb Bingham, Frederic Edwin Church, Thomas Eakins, Alvan Fisher, William Stanley Haseltine, Martin Johnson Heade, Fitz Hugh Lane, John Marin, John F. Peto, and William Trost Richards represent four decades of collecting in an area of particular scholarly interest to Wilmerding.

The works in the exhibition reveal a variety of American art such as landscapes, marine painting, portraits, genre scenes, still lifes, and figure paintings, including a group of drawings and watercolors of the scenery of Mount Desert Island, Maine, by artists--among them Fisher, Lane, Haseltine, Richards, and Marin--who worked there from the 1840s until the early 20th century.

Highlights from the collection include Lane's Western Shore of Gloucester, Outer Harbor (c. 1857), a radiant view of sailing vessels on calm water that is particularly notable for its superb state of preservation. Another notable work is one of Bingham's rare genre pictures, Mississippi Boatman (1850), which depicts a rugged-looking man guarding cargo on the riverside.

In addition to the paintings by Lane and Bingham, there are superb examples by Heade, Church, Peto, and Eakins, such as Heade's Sunlight and Shadow: The Newbury Marshes (c. 1871-1875) and his Still Life with Roses, Lilies, and Forget-Me-Nots in a Glass Vase (1869), Church's Newport Mountain, Mount Desert (1851), Peto's Take Your Choice, 1885, and Eakins' Portrait of Dr. William Thomson (c. 1907) and his watercolor Drifting (1875).