Datura and Pedernal
Portrait of Edith Blaney
Trade Canoe: A Western Fantasy
Jaune Quick-to-See Smith
American art has expressed the ideals, aspirations, and sometimes challenges of the nation throughout its history. Each work of art is created in the context of a given period and thus reflects not only the artistic styles and tastes of the day, but also the period’s cultural values, social conditions, and momentous events. American Journey invites the visitor to explore this history through paintings, sculptures, prints, and photographs dating from the nineteenth century to the present. Rather than taking a chronological approach, though, the exhibition is divided into thematic sections in which artworks of both the past and present are seen side by side, emphasizing the shared and contrasting ideas voiced by these works. Thematic sections include Land and Sea, aspects of nature and geography that have informed artistic visions of the American landscape; The West, half a continent that is imbued with myth and symbolism about the nation’s growth and ambition; Farm and City, places that have each represented qualities of American character such as self-reliance, industry, and dedication to progress; and People and Community, portraits and narrative art that show ever-changing views of individuals and their social relationships. American Journey is an opportunity for artworks that span decades or even generations to provoke new visual dialogues and prompt interpretations that are fresh and relevant for our time.
American Journey is drawn from the Orlando Museum of Art’s collections. The museum is grateful for gifts and loans from private collectors, as well as to the museum’s two collection support groups, Acquisition Trust and Friends of American Art, which provide funding from members’ dues for the acquisition of art.