National Gallery of Art - EXHIBITIONS
A New Look: Samuel F. B. Morse's Gallery of the Louvre
June 25, 2011–July 8, 2012

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.

Related Resources

Video Podcast

David McCullough, "Morse at the Louvre"

Exhibition Brochure (PDF 375k)

Works by
Samuel F. B. Morse
in the Gallery's Collection

Biography of
Samuel F. B. Morse

A New Look: Samuel F. B. Morse's "Gallery of the Louvre"
The Terra Foundation for American Art

View Related
Collection Tours
American Painting

Press Materials

Image: Samuel F. B. Morse, Gallery of the Louvre, 1831–1833, oil on canvas, Terra Foundation for American Art, Chicago, Daniel J. Terra CollectionKnown today primarily for his role in the development of the electromagnetic telegraph, Samuel F. B. Morse began his career as a painter. One of his most important works is on loan from the Terra Foundation for American Art—the newly conserved Gallery of the Louvre (1831–1833). The painting depicts masterpieces from the Louvre's collection that Morse "reinstalled" in one of that museum's grandest galleries, the Salon Carré. He also envisioned the space as a workshop where individuals study, sketch, and copy from his imagined assemblage of the Louvre's finest works, including paintings by Leonardo da Vinci, Titian, Veronese, Caravaggio, Rubens, Van Dyck, and Watteau. Morse depicted himself in front, leaning over his daughter as she sketches, and included friend and author James Fenimore Cooper at left with his wife and daughter.

Executed in Paris and New York, the Gallery of the Louvre was intended to inspire and inform American audiences. The painting was praised by critics, but rejected by the public for having little narrative interest. Crushed by the response, the artist soon ceased painting altogether and turned to his successful experiments with the telegraph and the Morse code.

Sponsor: The exhibition is made possible by the generous support of the Terra Foundation for American Art and is organized in partnership with the National Gallery of Art.

Schedule: Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, March 1–June 12, 2011; National Gallery of Art, June 25, 2011–July 8, 2012