Spencer Museum of Art The University of Kansas


  • The Arcadian Landscape: Nineteenth-Century American Painters in Italy
  • 03-Nov-1972 - 03-Dec-1972
  • University of Kansas Museum of Art, Lawrence, Kansas

For the 19th century American, as for generations of Europeans before him, the Italian penninsula held a unique fascination as the seat of classical learning. Although the large number of American sculptors studying in Italy has been carefully studied, there has been no extensive examination of the American landscapist's attraction to Italy during the past century. This subject will be explored in a major exhibition, "The Arcadian Landscape: Nineteenth Century American Painters in Italy" organized by The University of Kansas Museum of Art and shown there from November 3 through December 3, 1972. Including over fifty paintings from important public and private collections throughout the country, the exhibition will focus on the changing outlook on Italy from the turn of the century to the time of the unification of Italy. The exhibition was inspired by Barbara Novak's book, "American Painting of the Ninettenth Century," in which she commented that the "so-called Travelers in Arcadia, coupling European experience with their American sensibilities, require a separate study of their own." The exhibition catalogue will include an essay by Dr. Novak as well as a completely illustrated catalogue of works in the show and extensive biographical information and commentary. Included in the exhibition will be not only the major figures of 19th century landscape painting (Allston, Cole, Bierstadt) but some of those painters, who while less well-known today, were active and influential in the American communities in Italy in those years.