Americans Abroad: Landscape and Artistic Exchange, 1800-1920

September 20, 2018 to March 17, 2019

Tsinghua University Art Museum
Beijing, China 

This exhibition celebrates the inauguration of a multi-year partnership between the Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Museum of Art at Indiana University and Tsinghua University Art Museum in Beijing, China, and marks the first collaboration of its kind between university art museums in the United States and China. 

The exhibition features fifty paintings, including important works by Claude Monet, Gustave Caillebotte, Jasper F. Cropsey, Maurice Brazil Pendergast, and Winslow Homer. Thirty-eight works are drawn from the Eskenazi Museum’s permanent collection, and an additional twelve are on loan from the Indiana University Campus Art Collection, the Indianapolis Museum of Art at Newfields, and the Terra Foundation for American Art in Chicago. The Terra Foundation, which is “dedicated to fostering exploration, understanding, and enjoyment of the visual arts of the United States for national and international audiences,” is also supporting the exhibition with a $300,000 grant.

Reflecting the partnership’s opportunities for international cultural exchange, the exhibition examines landscape painting as a vehicle for transatlantic exchange and artistic innovation from the Napoleonic era through World War I. During the nineteenth century, while Americans were evolving their own distinct culture, they continued to look to Europe for cultural and artistic leadership. The exhibition addresses how American artists interacted with European art and artists during this transformative century by exploring the following themes: how American artists adapted European aesthetics to portray their own national landscape; the influence of travel, study abroad, and expatriation in Europe on the development of American art; and the American embrace of French Impressionism

Image: Gustave Caillebotte (French, 1848-1894). The Yerres, Effects of Rain (L'Yerres effet du pluie), 1875. Oil on canvas. 31 5/8 x 23 1/4 in. Gift of Mrs. Nicholas H. Noyes, Eskenazi Museum of Art, Indiana University, 71.40.2.