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Art Everywhere

This nearly square painting shows an industrial area with buildings, storage silos, a smokestack, and railroad tracks, but no people. A mound of brown dirt or other material is in shadow in the lower left corner of the painting next to the railroad tracks that extend diagonally from the lower center of the painting into the distance to our right. The tracks end at a white building with staggered gray rooflines to our right in the middle distance. A tall terracotta colored smokestack rises beyond the white building with smoke pouring out of the top and blending into the clouds above. To the left of center and slightly closer to us is a row of ten interlocking, coral-colored silos. Our view is cut off by a row of long white and gray warehouses in the distance between the silos and smokestack. Piles of white material, perhaps in unseen bins, fill the area between the silos and the railroad tracks in the foreground. The artist signed and dated the work with brown paint in the lower right corner: “Sheeler 31.”

Throughout August, American art from five leading museums is on display outdoors in all 50 states in 50,000 locations. Billboards on city streets and rural highways, displays on bus shelters and subway platforms, dioramas in airports, videos in health clubs, trailers in movie theaters—all comprise the largest outdoor art show ever conceived and a nationwide celebration of America’s artistic heritage.

Fifty-eight different images spanning 230 years of American art history, are drawn from the collections of five major museums across the country—the Art Institute of Chicago; the Dallas Museum of Art; the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA); the National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC; and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York City. The museums have collaborated with the Outdoor Advertising Association of America (OAAA) and its members to present Art Everywhere US with the co-operation of artists, estates, foundations, and rights agencies.

The National Gallery of Art is represented by 14 works, the most of any museum in the group. The selection of art was informed by a public vote in April 2014 on www.ArtEverywhereUS.org, which now functions as an interactive art gallery. Visitors to the site may retrieve information about the selected works, read about the story of art in the United States, see which images are on advertising displays in their vicinity, and find the locations of specific works around the United States. To learn more about the 58 works from five museums, visit www.ArtEverywhereUS.org.

Roy Lichtenstein's Look Mickey is on a world tour! However, 13 of the original works are on view at the National Gallery of Art, West Building. They include...

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Art Everywhere US is organized by the Outdoor Advertising Association of America.

Charles Sheeler, Classic Landscape, 1931, oil on canvas, Collection of Barney A. Ebsworth, 2000.39.2

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William Michael Harnett, The Old Violin, 1886, oil on canvas, Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Richard Mellon Scaife in honor of Paul Mellon, 1993.15.1

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Seeming close to us, a young man and three boys sit or recline in a small sailboat that tips to our left on a choppy dark green sea in this horizontal painting. The billowing sail extends off the top left corner of the canvas and is echoed in the background to our right by the tall sails of another ship in the distance. The horizon line comes about a third of the way up the composition, and puffy grey and white clouds sweep across the turquoise sky. The sun lights the scene from our right so the boys’ ruddy faces are in shadow under their hats. The young man and boys all face our left so they lean against and into the boat as it cants up to our right. The boy nearest the sail to our left reclines across the bow. Next to him to our right, a younger boy perches on the edge of the boat and holds on with both hands. The oldest, in a red shirt, sits on the floor of the boat as he maneuvers the sail with a rope. Closer to us and to our right, a younger boy sits with his bare feet pressed together in front of his bent knees on the back edge of the boat, gazing into the distance over his right shoulder as he handles the tiller. The artist signed and dated the painting in dark letters in the lower right corner: “HOMER 1876.”

Winslow Homer, Breezing Up (A Fair Wind), 1873-1876, oil on canvas, Gift of the W. L. and May T. Mellon Foundation, 1943.13.1

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We seem to look slightly down into a lime-green and white rowboat carrying a man and a woman holding a baby. The boat and people almost fill this nearly square painting. The man wears midnight blue shoes, pants, jacket, and soft, floppy cap. He sits with his back to us, bending forward to row the boat, which is cropped by the bottom edge of the canvas. The left side of his ruddy face is visible over his left shoulder. The woman and baby both have creamy white skin. The woman and baby sit across from the man, facing us to our left in the bow. The woman’s long-sleeved sky-blue dress is crosshatched with pink lines. The baby leans back in the woman’s arms, and wears a pink dress, blue socks, and brown shoes. The wide-brimmed hats on both the woman and baby are painted pale celery green. They gaze towards or just past the man. The corner of the boat’s sail, also painted pale green, is pulled taunt by the wind to our left. Azure blue water surrounds the boat up to the high horizon line, which brushes the top edge of the painting. The shoreline in the distance is lined with trees and dotted with white houses with red roofs.

Mary Cassatt, The Boating Party, 1893/1894, oil on canvas, Chester Dale Collection, 1963.10.94

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As if from another boat on the water, we look onto the side of a rowboat crowded with nine men trying to save a pale, nude young man who flails in the water in front of us as a shark approaches, mouth agape, from our right in this horizontal painting. In the water, the man floats with his chest facing the sky, and arms flailing, with his right arm overhead and the other stretched out by his side. Extending to our left, his left leg is bent and the right leg is straight, disappearing below the knee. His long blond hair swirls in the water and he arches his back, his wide-open eyes looking towards the shark behind him. To our right, the shark rolls up out of the water with its gaping jaws showing rows of pointed teeth. In the boat, eight of the men have light or swarthy complexions and one man has dark brown skin. The man with dark skin stands at the back center of the boat and he holds one end of a rope, which falls across the boat and around the upper arm of the man in the water. Another man stands at the stern of the boat, to our right, poised with a long, hooked harpoon over the side of the boat, ready to strike the shark. His long dark hair blows in the wind and he wears a navy-blue jacket with brass buttons, white breeches, blue stockings, and his shoes have silver buckles. Two other men wearing white shirts with blousy sleeves lean over the side of the boat, bracing each other as they reach toward the man in the water. An older, balding man holds the shirt and body of one of this pair and calls something, his mouth open. The other men hold long oars and look into the water with furrowed brows. The tip of a shark’s tail sticks out of the water to our right of the boat, near the right edge of the canvas. Along the horizon line, which comes three-quarters of the way up the composition, buildings and tall spires line the harbor. The masts of boats at port creates a string of crosses against the light blue sky. Steely gray clouds sweep across the upper left corner of the canvas and the sky lightens to pale, butter-yellow at the horizon.

John Singleton Copley, Watson and the Shark, 1778, oil on canvas, Ferdinand Lammot Belin Fund, 1963.6.1

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Thomas Moran, Green River Cliffs, Wyoming, 1881, oil on canvas, Gift of the Milligan and Thomson Families, 2011.2.1

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A young woman with pale white skin, wearing a long, flowing white dress, stands in front of a white curtain in this full-length, vertical portrait. Her red hair cascades down over and behind her shoulders. She looks to our left with green eyes, her pink, full lips closed. Her dress has puffed shoulders above a white-on-white striped pattern on the long sleeves. She stands on an animal pelt; it is not clear whether it is a wolf or a bear. The pelt spans the width of the painting and overlaps a blue patterned carpet. The animal’s mouth gapes to show sharp teeth and its glassy eyes are wide open—and it seems to look at us. The woman holds a white lily by her side in her left hand, while yellow and purple pansies lie scattered on the pelt.

James McNeill Whistler, Symphony in White, No. 1: The White Girl, 1862, oil on canvas, Harris Whittemore Collection, 1943.6.2

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Roy Lichtenstein, Look Mickey, 1961, oil on canvas, Gift of Roy and Dorothy Lichtenstein in Honor of the 50th Anniversary of the National Gallery of Art, 1990.41.1

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Thomas Eakins, The Biglin Brothers Racing, 1872, oil on canvas, Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Cornelius Vanderbilt Whitney, 1953.7.1

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Childe Hassam, Allies Day, May 1917, 1917, oil on canvas, Gift of Ethelyn McKinney in memory of her brother, Glenn Ford McKinney, 1943.9.1

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Seen from the chest up, a cleanshaven, middle-aged man with pale skin and silvery gray hair, wearing a white, ruffled shirt under a velvety black, high-necked jacket, looks out at us from in front of a peanut-brown background in this vertical portrait painting. His body is angled to our left and he turns his face slightly to look at us with gray eyes under slightly arched eyebrows. He has a long nose and his thin lips are closed in a straight line. Shadows define slightly sagging jowls along his jawline and down his neck. His light gray hair seems to be pulled back from his forehead and swells in bushy curls over his ears. Part of a black ribbon seen beyond his shoulder may tie his hair back. Light illuminates the person from our left and creates a golden glow on the light brown background behind him.

Gilbert Stuart, George Washington, c. 1821, oil on wood, Gift of Thomas Jefferson Coolidge IV in memory of his great-grandfather, Thomas Jefferson Coolidge, his grandfather, Thomas Jefferson Coolidge II, and his father, Thomas Jefferson Coolidge III, 1979.5.1

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Martin Johnson Heade, Giant Magnolias on a Blue Velvet Cloth, c. 1890, oil on canvas, Gift of The Circle of the National Gallery of Art in Commemoration of its 10th Anniversary, 1996.14.1

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Seeming close to us, a woman with pale white skin and dark brown hair reclines along a gray couch so her torso leans on the arm of the sofa to our left and her head rests on the backrest in this horizontal painting. Her torso is wrapped in a voluminous, ivory colored scarf or wrap. The bottom edge of the scarf is printed with an indigo pattern of ovals and vegetal forms, and it is gathered tightly at her throat. Her shimmering silver gray skirt is painted loosely with baby and denim blues, army and sage greens, white, and ivory strokes, and it drapes over the cushions and down the front of the couch. Her hands are clasped so her interwoven fingers rest at her navel. She looks down and off to our right. A table to our left is edged with gold. The wall behind her above the couch is painted with long streaks of eggshell white and pale turquoise. The gold frame of a dark painting hanging over the couch spans the width of the painting. Near the upper right corner of the canvas, the artist included a signature and as if he had signed the painting within this painting with loose, dark letters: “John S. Sargent 1911.”

John Singer Sargent, Nonchaloir (Repose), 1911, oil on canvas, Gift of Curt H. Reisinger, 1948.16.1

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We look out onto a sweeping, panoramic view with trees, their leaves fiery orange and red, framing a view of a distant body of water under a majestic sky in this long, horizontal landscape painting. The horizon comes about halfway up the composition, and is lined with hazy mountains and clouds in the deep distance. Closest to us, vine-covered, fallen tree trunks and mossy gray boulders line the bottom edge of the canvas. Beyond a trickling waterfall and small pool near the lower left corner and tiny in the scale of the landscape, a group of three men and their dogs sit and recline around a blanket and a picnic basket, their rifles leaning against a tall tree nearby. The land sweeps down to a grassy meadow crossed by a meandering stream that winds into the distance. A low wooden bridge spans the stream to our right, and a few cows drink from the riverbank closeby. Smoke rises from chimneys in a down lining the riverbank and shoreline beyond, and tiny white sails and steamboats dot the waterway. Light pours onto the scene with rays like a starburst from behind a lavender-gray cloud covering the sun, low in the sky. Close examination slowly reveals miniscule birds tucked into the crimson red, golden yellow, and deep sage green leaves of the autumn trees, dabs of white and gray that represent a flock of grazing sheep in the meadow, and people on horseback and foot in the landscape beyond. The artist signed the painting as if he had inscribed the flat top of a rock at the lower center of the landscape with his name, the title of the painting, and date: “Autumn – on the Hudson River, J.F Cropsey, London 1860.”

Jasper Francis Cropsey, Autumn - On the Hudson River, 1860, oil on canvas, Gift of the Avalon Foundation, 1963.9.1

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