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Gilbert Stuart, "George Washington," ca. 1800-1820, oil on canvas, 30 1/2 x 24 1/2 in. New-York Historical Society

A Chronological History of American Painting at New-York Historical Society

Boasting one of the country's finest collections of 18th- and 19th-century American paintings, the New-York Historical Society will soon stage a comprehensive, chronological, and thematic tour through 200 years of painting history.

Childe Hassam, "Flags on 57th Street, Winter of 1918," 1918, oil on canvas, 35 3/4 x 23 3/4 in. New-York Historical Society

On June 7 the New-York Historical Society Museum will unveil an exhibition of American paintings drawn from its own important collection. "From Colony to Nation: 200 Years of American Painting at the New-York Historical Society" spans the years 1720-1917 and represents the most prominent American painting movements from this period.

Thomas Cole, "Autumn Twilight, View of Corway Peak [Mount Chocurua], New Hampshire," 1834, oil on wood panel, 13 3/4 x 19 1/2 in. New-York Historical Society
Fine examples of Colonial, Federal, and Gilded Age portraiture will be joined by Hudson River School landscapes, maritime works — especially those centering on the War of 1812 – genre, and history paintings in a survey of American painting developments during the 18th, 19th, and early 20th centuries. Among the crowd of important American artists to be featured are Charles Willson Peale, Gilbert Stuart, Benjamin West, Thomas Cole, Asher B. Durand, Thomas Birch, Thomas Buttersworth, William Sydney Mount, John F. Kensett, John Singer Sargent, and Childe Hassam.

Charles Willson Peale, "The Peale Family," 1773-1809, oil on canvas, 56 1/2 x 89 1/2 in. New-York Historical Society

Rarely is such a broad cross section of historical American painting brought together in one place. Visitors will encounter a group of works that charts two important narratives: the formation of America as a nation and its development of the revered art form of painting. From the lovingly rendered familial portrait of Charles Willson Peale and Gilbert Stuart's regal portraits of George Washington, through Thomas Cole's luminous renderings of the American wilderness and the works of America's impressionistic painters, the nation's past and its style of artistic expression unfold before our eyes.

Thomas Buttersworth, "Escape of H.M.S. Belvidera from the U.S. Frigate President," ca. 1815, oil on canvas, 16 x 22 in. New-York Historical Society
"From Colony to Nation" will be on view through September 8. For more information, visit

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