“Celebrating America: Masterworks from Texas Collections,” a special exhibition organized by the Amon Carter Museum that brings together 59 American masterpieces drawn from private, public and corporate collections throughout the state of Texas, opens September 14 at the Carter and runs through November 17. It is accompanied by a 146-page catalogue that features an introductory essay on the history of fine art collecting in Texas.
This group of paintings, sculptures, watercolors and photographs celebrates the achievements of those collectors in Texas whose holdings reflect the essential nature of our country’s character. From a pair of 18th-century portraits by John Singleton Copley to important works by great American artists such as Winslow Homer, Edward Hopper, David Smith, Alfred Stieglitz and Garry Winogrand, the variety of the objects in the exhibition speaks to the regional, cultural and ethnic diversity of America.
“Celebrating America: Masterworks from Texas Collections” is informed by the Carter’s own collecting philosophy. The museum was founded in 1961 to house Amon G. Carter’s (1879–1955) collection of 400 works by the two greatest artists of the American West, Frederic Remington (1861–1909) and Charles M. Russell (1864–1926). Since then, the museum has broadened its collecting perspective, seeking out the finest examples of American art and building a collection of masterworks that emphasizes key moments in American art and culture. A majority of the artists whose works are in the exhibition are also represented in the Carter’s collection, which offers visitors a rare opportunity to compare an artist’s work from different career periods.
“By bringing together outstanding works by artists in all media, this exhibition celebrates the philosophy of quality that has governed the Carter’s collecting activities since its inception,” says Amon Carter Museum Director Rick Stewart. “And perhaps most importantly, this exhibition celebrates the public and private collections in the state of Texas, where the study and appreciation of American art have flourished for more than a century.”
“The depth and caliber of American art located in Texas art collections, as well as the strength and cohesiveness of these collections, was surprising,” adds Chief Curator Jane Myers, whose research for the exhibition began in 1998. “There have been a great number of outstanding collections assembled in Texas since the turn of the 20th century, when the citizens who populated the state’s burgeoning communities began a series of earnest campaigns to bring art to the prairies.”
“Celebrating America: Masterworks from Texas Collections” also commemorates the inaugural year of the Carter’s expansion, which increased to nearly 30,000 square feet the gallery space in which to showcase the museum’s collections and special exhibitions of American art. Visitors are now able to view four times the number of artworks that were on display in the pre-expansion building.
This exhibition is organized by the Amon Carter Museum. It is made possible by a generous gift from Wells Fargo.
Winslow Homer (1836–1910)
The Woodcutter, 1891
Watercolor and graphite on paper
Collection of Fayez Sarofim