American Art

American Painting | American Sculpture | American Graphic Arts | African American Art

The study of American artists, whose significance was once over-shadowed by their European counterparts, has long-since developed into a dynamic and popular branch of art history. The collection of American art at Vanderbilt remains one of the strongest areas of the university’s holdings and provides a broad portrait of nineteenth-, twentieth-, and twenty-first-century stylistic movements. Those Americans represented in the collection include some of the most influential and well-known artists of the past two centuries.

In nineteenth-century painting, Vanderbilt’s collection includes oil paintings created by Childe Hassam, the leader of the American Impressionist movement; Jasper Cropsey; and George Inness, the Barbizon-influenced landscape painter. Early twentieth-century works in the collection include a painting by William Merritt Chase, considered to be the most important art teacher of his generation and whose students included Charles Demuth, Georgia O’Keeffe, and Charles Sheeler. The collection also includes The Picnic, Vermont, by Milton Avery, who alone perpetuated the post-Fauvist style of Matisse in America.

While the university owns a relatively small number of American paintings, the extensive holdings in nineteenth- and twentieth-century works on paper assist in illustrating the diversity of artistic movements that define American art. Significant painters and printmakers such as Mary Cassatt and James McNeill Whistler, both included in the collection, executed works that fully exploited and expanded the medium of printmaking. Furthermore, such modern masters as Regionalists John Steuart Curry and Grant Wood; Dadaist Man Ray; Abstract Expressionists Adolph Gottlieb, Robert Motherwell, and Lee Krasner; Pop artist Roy Lichtenstein; Minimalist Ad Reinhardt; as well as others, serve to present a unique view of the diversity and inventiveness of American artistic production.

In recent years, the Gallery has added work by a number of contemporary artists including Enrique Chagoya, Martin Puryear, Kiki Smith, Lorna Simpson, Kara Waller, Lesley Dill, Louise Bourgeois, Jim Dine, Joseph Kosth, Carrie Mae Weems, Ron Adams, Creighton Michael, and Andy Warhol, among others.

American Painting

American Painting | American Sculpture | American Graphic Arts

[Click on images below to enlarge view]

cropsey

 Isabel Bishop (American, 1902–1988)
Recess #1, 1975
Oil on board
30″ x 44″
Vanderbilt Art Association Acquisition Fund Purchase
1978.034

Study for Recess #1

Isabel Bishop (American, 1902–1988)
Study for Recess #1, 1975
Ink on paper
7 1/4″ x 12 3/4″
Vanderbilt Art Association Acquisition Fund Purchase
1978.033

School Girls (Study for Recess #1),

Isabel Bishop (American, 1902–1988)
School Girls (Study for Recess #1), 1975
Aquatint
9 1/4″ x 12 3/4″
Vanderbilt Art Association Acquisition Fund Purchase
1978.035

american-painting-1979.0188P

Milton Avery (American, 1893–1965)
The Picnic, Vermont, 1940
Oil on canvas
28 1/8″ x 36 1/4″
Gift of Roy R. Neuberger, The Peabody College Collection, Vanderbilt University Fine Arts Gallery
1979.0188P

hassam

Childe Hassam (American, 1859–1935)
The Skyscraper Window, 1934
Oil on canvas
59 1/4″ x 47 1/4″
The Peabody College Collection, Vanderbilt University Fine Arts Gallery
1979.0228P

The Pianist

Irving Wiles (American, 1861–1948)
The Pianist, 1889
Oil on panel
21 1/2″ x 17 1/2″
The Peabody College Collection, Vanderbilt University Fine Arts Gallery
1979.0280P

st barbara

William Merritt Chase (American, 1849–1916)
Still Life with Fish, date unknown
Oil on canvas
17 1/2″ x 21 1/2″
The Sullivan Collection, The Peabody College Collection, Vanderbilt University Fine Arts Gallery
1979.0203P

johnson

David Daniel Johnson (American, 1827–1908)
Lake George, date unknown
Oil on canvas
19 1/2″ x 24 1/2″
The Peabody College Collection, Vanderbilt University Fine Arts Gallery
1979.0232P

cropsey

Jasper Cropsey  (American, 1823–1900)
The Old Homestead, Wyoming Valley, 1865
Oil on canvas
13″ x 18″
Gift of Sam I. and Ellen C. Yarnell
1981.007

stuart

Jane Stuart (American, 1812–1888)
Scene from a Novel or a Subject from Literature, 1834
Oil on canvas
36″ x 28″
Vanderbilt Art Association Acquisition Fund
1988.014

American Sculpture

American Painting | American Sculpture | American Graphic Arts

[Click on images below to enlarge view]

rogers

John Rogers (American, 1829–1904)
Checkers Up At the Farm, 1875
Plaster with paint
32 3/4″ x 16 1/2″ x 12 3/4″
Gift of Marc and Betty Hollender
2004.028

art

John Chamberlain (American, 1927–2011)
Maz, 1960
Painted steel
48″ x 40″ x 36″
The Peabody College Collection, Vanderbilt University Fine Arts Gallery
1979.0667P

American Graphic Arts

American Painting | American Sculpture | American Graphic Arts

[Click on images below to enlarge view]

Seymour Standing Under a Tree

James McNeill Whistler (American, 1834–1903)
Seymour Standing Under a Tree, 1859
Etching
5 1/4″ x 3 13/16″
Gift of Austin B. Chinn, ’69, in memory of his mother, Mrs. Joseph W. Chinn III
2006.015

Girl Walking (Elevated)

Reginald Marsh (American, 1898–1954)
Girl Walking (Elevated), 1945
Lithograph
10 5/8″ x 8″
Dr. and Mrs. E. Williams Ewers Gift for Fine Arts Fund Purchase
2000.003

bolotin

Grant Wood (American, 1892–1942)
Family Doctor, 1941
Lithograph
10″ x 12″
The Anna C. Hoyt Collection, Vanderbilt University
1957.044

Night in New York

Martin Lewis (American, 1883–1962)
Night in New York, 1932
Etching on laid paper
8 3/8″ x 8 7/8″
Vanderbilt Art Association Acquisition Fund Purchase
1980.010

nason

Thomas Nason (American, 1889–1971)
Connecticut Pastoral, 1936
Wood engraving
3 1/4″ x 4 1/4″
Dr. and Mrs. E. William Ewers Gift for Fine Arts Fund Purchase
2004.034

pear

Man Ray (American, 1890–1976)
The Pear (or La Poire d’Eric Satie), date unknown
Serigraph
18″ x 11 5/8″
Vanderbilt Art Association Acquisition Fund
1973.004

milton

Peter Milton (American, b. 1930)
From, The Jolly Corner, 1971
A limited edition portfolio of the story of the same title by Henry James (1843–1916)
Etching with aquatint on wove paper
9 5/8″ x 14 5/8″
Dr. and Mrs. E. William Ewers Gift for Fine Arts Fund Purchase
2000.120

Rauschenberg

Robert Rauschenberg (American, 1925–2008)
Swim /ROCI USA (Wax Fire Works), 1990
Acrylic, fire wax, variegated brass leaf on stainless steel
72 3/4″ x 96 3/4″
Gift of Donald and Ruth Saff
2002.026

dill

Lesley Dill, (American, b. 1950)
Front, from A Word Made Flesh
(With verse from Emily Dickinson), 1994
Lithograph/intaglio on Mulberry paper, hand sewn onto Arches Buff
30″ x 22″
Janice D. Forsythe Memorial Fund Purchase, with additional funds provided by the Vanderbilt Art Association Fund
1996.176 d

simpson

Lorna Simpson (American, b. 1960)
Backdrops Circa 1940s, 1998
Serigraph on two felt panels
26 3/8″ x 17 1/8″
Dr. and Mrs. E. William Ewers Gift for Fine Arts Fund Purchase
1999.143

richards

Rosalyn Richards (American, b. 1947)
Lattice, 2002
Etching on Chine Collé
20 7/8″ x 14 13/16″
Janice D. Forsythe Memorial Fund Purchase
2004.040

chagoya

Enrique Chagoya (American, b. 1953)
Anthropologist with Noodles, from The Enlightened Savage, 2002
Digital print on paper mounted to water filled “c” enamel lined can
4″ x 2 1/2″
Fine Arts Gallery Acquisition Fund
2002.016

chagoya

Enrique Chagoya (American, b. 1953)
La Portentosa Vida de la Muerte (The Prodigious Life of Death), 2003
Lithograph on Chine Collé
17 3/8″ x 14″
Dr. and Mrs. E. William Ewers Gift for Fine Arts Fund Purchase
2003.052

bolotin

Jay Bolotin (American, b. 1949)
From The Jackleg Testament, 2003
A limited edition portfolio of 40 prints and a film of the same title
19 1/2″ x 26″
Woodcut
Made possible by a gift from the Lifeworks Foundation, Nashville
2006.008

African American Art

American Painting | American SculptureAmerican Graphic Arts  | African American Art

[Click on images below to enlarge view]

African-American-2000.006

Ron Adams (American, b. 1934)
Neptune Washington, 1997
Lithograph
30″ x 22″
Gift of James Rutherford
2000.006
African-American-2002.024 Ron Adams (American, b. 1934)
Blackburn, 2002
Lithograph
25″ x 35″
Dr. and Mrs. E. William Ewers Gift for Fine Arts Fund Purchase
2002.024
African-American-2005.001c Romare Bearden (American, 1911-1988)
Girl in the Garden from American Portfolio: A portfolio of six lithographs in color by: Lester Johnson, Alice Neel, Romare Bearden, Henry Pearson, Sharon Sutton, Will Barnet, 1979
Lithograph on Arches paper
28-1/2″ x 20″
Dr. and Mrs. E. William Ewers Gift for Fine Arts Fund Purchase
2005.001c
 African-American-2012.008f Marvin Brown (American, b. 1943)
The Well House from American Abstract Artists 60th Anniversary Print Portfolio, 1997
Lithograph
9-3/4″ x 12-3/4″
Gift of American Abstract Artists
2012.008f
 African-American-2002.002 Deborah Dancy (American, b. 1949)
Nameless, 2001
Intaglio and collograph in color from a paperboard matrix
19-15/16″ x 16″
Janice D. Forsythe Memorial Fund Purchase
2002.002
African-American-2002.003  Deborah Dancy (American, b. 1949)
Untitled, 2001
Intaglio and collograph in color from a paperboard matrix
19-15/16″ x 15-15/16″
Janice D. Forsythe Memorial Fund Purchase
2002.003
 African-American-1989.047  David Driskell (American, b. 1931)
Spirits Watching, 1986
Lithograph
21″ x 30″
Vanderbilt Art Association Acquisition Fund Purchase
1989.047
dunson   Samuel L. Dunson, Jr. (American, b. 1970)
Brownstone All-Stars, 1997
Oil on canvas
36″ x 24″
Dr. and Mrs. E. William Ewers
Gift for Fine Arts Fund Purchase
1997.154
African-American-2002.008 Sam Gilliam (American, b. 1933)
Space Drawing, 2000
Acrylic on birchwood
12″ x 25-1/2″ x 3-1/2″
Dr. and Mrs. E. William Ewers Gift for Fine Arts Fund Purchase
2002.008
photography-2013.035m Lyle Ashton Harris (Amerian, b. 1965)
Blow Up II (Armory) from America: Now + Here, a portfolio, 2005
Digital chromogenic print
24″ x 20″
Gift of Melissa and Scott Tannen, BA ’99
2013.035m
African-American-1999.143 Lorna Simpson (American, b. 1960)
Backdrops Circa 1940s, 1998
Serigraphs on two felt panels
26-3/8″ x 17-1/8″
Dr. and Mrs. E. William Ewers Gift for Fine Arts Fund Purchase
1999.143
African-American-2001.006 Kara Walker (American, b. 1969)
The Emancipation Approximation (Scene 5), 1999-2000
Serigraph
44″ x 43″
Louise Bullard Wallace Fund Purchase
2001.006
African-American-2002.001 Carrie Mae Weems (American, b. 1950)
Not Manet’s Type, 2001
Photolithograph
40″ x 20″
Janice D. Forsythe Memorial Fund Purchase
2002.001