Enfilade

Exhibition: ‘Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness’

Posted in books, catalogues, exhibitions by Editor on July 3, 2011

Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness: American Art from the Yale University Art Gallery
Speed Art Museum, Louisville, 7 September 2008 — 4 January 2009
Seattle Art Museum, 26 February — 24 May 2009
Birmingham Museum of Art, Alabama, 4 October 2009 — 10 January 2010
Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven,  29 July 2011 — 8 July 2012 (in three parts)

John Trumbull, "The Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1776," 1786–1820 (Yale University Art Gallery)

This exhibition draws upon the Gallery’s renowned collection of American paintings, decorative arts, and prints to illuminate the diverse and evolving American experience from the time of the settlements of the late seventeenth century to the World’s Columbian Exposition in 1893. The more than 200 works in this traveling exhibition—including treasures such as John Trumbull’s Declaration of Independence and Winslow Homer’s Morning Bell—now return to New Haven for a three-part presentation.

Exhibition and publication organized by Helen A. Cooper, the Holcombe T. Green Curator of American Paintings and Sculpture, with Robin Jaffee Frank, the Alice and Allan Kaplan Senior Associate Curator of American Paintings and Sculpture; Elisabeth Hodermarsky, the Sutphin Family Associate Curator of Prints, Drawings, and Photographs; and Patricia E. Kane, Friends of American Arts Curator of American Decorative Arts, all Yale University Art Gallery.

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Exhibition catalogue: Helen A. Cooper, ed., Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness: American Art from the Yale University Art Gallery (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2008), 368 pages, ISBN: 9780300122893.

The American experience—from its colonial beginnings to the modern age—has captured the imagination of all Americans, including its artists. This richly illustrated book explores works from the renowned collections of American paintings, decorative arts, prints, and photographs at the Yale University Art Gallery and creates a vivid portrait of a young country defining itself culturally, politically, and geographically.

Distinguished scholars shed new light on American history by examining some of the most familiar and revered objects in American art—paintings by Trumbull, Peale, Copley, Eakins, Church, and Homer; silver by Revere and Tiffany; furniture by Roux and Connelly; and photographs by Muybridge, among others. The authors discuss how issues of cultural heritage, patriotism, politics, and exploration shaped America’s art as well as its attitudes and traditions.