Winterthur Museum & Country Estate will be the exclusive venue of a significant new exhibition, Faces of a New Nation: American Portraits of the 18th and Early 19th Centuries from The Metropolitan Museum of Art, which opens on July 25.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art will showcase a variety of exceptional works at Winterthur that portray the men, women, and children of early America as painted by some of the young nation’s finest portraitists, including John Smibert, John Singleton Copley, Gilbert Stuart, Charles Willson Peale, and Samuel F.B. Morse. Faces of a New Nation features 39 paintings and will remain on display in the Winterthur Galleries through January 24, 2010.
The exhibition consists of masterpieces across a span of nearly 150 years. They range from those created by the first immigrant limners at work on these shores to those of highly professionalized artists who undertook commissions in the country's major cities just before the Civil War.
Curated by Carrie Rebora Barratt of the Metropolitan Museum’s Department of American Paintings and Sculpture, the exhibition allows visitors to study the faces of men and women who tell us not only about themselves, but about the American past.
The collaboration between the Met and Winterthur is a reflection of the longstanding relationship between the two museums. Morrison H. Heckscher, chairman of the Met’s American Wing is a member of Winterthur’s Board of Trustees and is a Winterthur Fellow, having completed his graduate degree in the Winterthur/University of Delaware American material culture program.
“Sending a complete show to Winterthur is really a sign of our respect and friendship,” says Barratt.
“It is a tremendous honor for Winterthur to host this exceptional collection of portraits from the Met,” says J. Thomas Savage, director of museum affairs at Winterthur. “We deeply appreciate the opportunity to collaborate with The Metropolitan Museum of Art and are so pleased to be able to share these wonderful paintings with visitors to Winterthur. The portraits in Faces of a New Nation also provide a strong connection to the paintings in Winterthur’s collection, many of which will be highlighted in a special tour of the house that we will offer throughout the run of the exhibition.”
Text and images by artdaily.org and winterthur.org