Americans in Paris, 1860–1900
"When today we look for 'American art' we find it mainly in Paris. When we find it out of Paris, we at least find a good deal of Paris in it." —Henry James, 1887
Explore the romance and magnetic attraction of the French capital to nineteenth-century American artists through the irresistible "Americans in Paris." From about 1860 to 1900, hundreds of American painters traveled to the capital of the western art world to enroll in art schools, to establish their artistic reputations, or to join the city’s significant American expatriate community. The cosmopolitan city's influence is evident in the vibrant paintings and sculpture by some of America’s most celebrated artists, including James McNeill Whistler, John Singer Sargent, Winslow Homer, and Mary Cassatt.
The exhibition explores paintings Americans made and displayed in Paris, including Whistler's Arrangement in Grey and Black, No. 1: Portrait of the Artist's Mother; images of the city by such painters as Childe Hassam, Henry Ossawa Tanner, and Sargent; depictions of Americans "at home" in Paris by Cassatt and others; and views of several popular summer art colonies, including Giverny and Brittany. Finallly, the show explores how Americans adapted distinctly French styles to paint American subjects.
This major exhibition makes its US debut at the MFA.