In the second half of 2007, the Staatsgalerie Stuttgart will be offering an exceptional opportunity to become acquainted with one of the most comprehensive collections of nineteenth-century American art outside its home institution. The loans constituting this exhibition are known worldwide as masterpieces from the original inventory of the first American museum of fine arts, but have rarely been on display here in Germany. Many of them once belonging to the collections of Daniel Wadsworth, founder of the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Connecticut, and Elizabeth Colt, wife of the firearms manufacturer Samuel Colt, they afford an overview of the works of painters known as the Hudson River School. Although they do reveal the influence of European landscapists, these paintings – the work of settlers and immigrants – are distinguished by a character all their own.
Guided by sixty works, the show will retrace the history of American landscape painting. With compositions by Thomas Cole and Frederic Edwin Church, for example, visitors will gain an impression of how the wilderness and the vast expanses of the new continent shaped an “American Vision” and how landscape became a testimony to national identity.
In collaboration with its partner, the Bucerius Kunst Forum, Hamburg, the Staatsgalerie Stuttgart hopes that this exhibition will encourage the reception of the first school of American painting and the origins of independent art of the New World.
Concurrently, and in commemoration of the death of Andy Warhol twenty years ago, the Staatsgalerie will be presenting artistic approaches of 1960s America as seen in Pop Art and Minimal Art from its own holdings. By offering a comprehensive review of the oeuvre of contemporary Canadian video artist Stan Douglas as well, the museum will be providing a survey of three centuries of art from the far side of the Atlantic in the course of the year 2007.