Thursday, May 13, 6:30 p.m.
Presented by the Figge Art Museum
Featuring highlights from the exhibition’s display and museum staffers and community members sharing their favorite program memories, the Figge Art Museum's For America: 200 Years of Painting from the National Academy of Design – which opened on February 20 – will be celebrated in a virtual May 13 event paying tribute to the traveling exhibit's hugely popular, three-month area engagement.
From its founding in 1825 to the present, the National Academy has required all Academicians elected to donate a representative work to the Academy’s collection. From 1839 to 1994, the Academy also required associates to present a portrait of themselves, whether painted by their own hand or that of a fellow artist. This has resulted in a collection of over 8,000 works by historical and contemporary masters such as Winslow Homer, William Merritt Chase, John Singer Sargent, Andrew Wyeth, Jaune Quick-to-See-Smith, Charles White, Jane Freilicher, and many others. Exhibition co-curator Jeremiah William McCarthy, Curator at the National Academy of Design, says: “This exhibition presents the way artists see the world alongside the way they see themselves inhabiting that world. It’s an unprecedented look at the history of American painting written by its makers.”
Offering many opportunities for community collaborations with other Quad City cultural organizations for musical, literary and historical programs, For America: 200 Years of Painting from the National Academy of Design provides a new perspective on the American works in the City of Davenport and Figge collections, and is the second exhibition made possible by the museum’s Major Exhibitions Endowment. For America will tour to eight venues across the United States including the Figge, bringing important paintings to audiences across the country while also enriching the dialogue of scholars, students, and artists of all ages with the firsthand experience of American masterpieces. The exhibition is organized by the American Federation of Arts and the National Academy of Design, and support for the national tour is provided by the JFM Foundation, Monique Schoen Warshaw, and Steph & Jody La Nasa.
The virtual closing celebration on May 13 is free, but advance registration is required, and participants will receive an e-mail with a Zoom link two hours before the program begins at 6:30 p.m. on May 13 For America: 200 Years of Painting from the National Academy of Design itself is on display through May 16, and more information on the event and exhibition is available by calling (563)326-7804 and visiting FiggeArtMuseum.org.