NEWARK – Newark Museum visitors and art critics alike have expressed high praise for “Angels & Tomboys: Girlhood in 19th-Century American Art” since it opened in mid-September. In response to the many phone calls from people who have not had the opportunity to see the works that explore the hopes, dreams and fears of girls in the 19th century, the exhibition has been extended two weeks until January 20.
Featuring masterworks by John Singer Sargent, Thomas Eakins, Winslow Homer, Cecilia Beaux and William Merritt Chase, Angels & Tomboys: Girlhood in 19th-Century American Art explores the numerous ways artists not only reflected but helped shape cultural and artistic visions of girlhood in the 1800s.
Organized by Dr. Holly Pyne Connor, Curator of 19th-Century American Art at the Newark Museum, the exhibition is comprised of more than 80 works from the Museum’s renowned American art collection and from other major institutions across the country. After Newark, the exhibition travels to the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art from Feb. 16 to May 26, 2013, and to Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, Arkansas, from June 28 to Sept. 30, 2013.
Major support for the exhibition and accompanying catalogue has been provided by Johnson & Johnson; National Endowment for the Arts; Robert Lehman Foundation, Inc.; Newark Museum Volunteer Organization; and Friends of American Art at the Newark Museum and, in part, by a grant from the New Jersey Department of State, Division of Travel and Tourism. The exhibition is also supported by an indemnity from the Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities.
Narrative paintings by Lilly Martin Spencer, the most important female artist of the mid-century, address her deeply felt views on home, family and the nation during and after the Civil War, while the genre works of Eastman Johnson, John Rogers and Edward Lamson Henry examine issues of race and reconstruction.
Additional artistic highlights include images by Edmund Tarbell and Chase of their daughters dressed up for their portraits or captured unaware in the household; full length portraits by Chase, Frank Benson and Frank Duveneck; and enigmatic and disturbing girlhood images of family members by Chase, Eakins and Seymour Joseph Guy, which reveal the complexity of the artists’ personal responses to the young girls who model for them and who inspired some of their greatest pictures.
“While individual works are analyzed in depth, they are also placed in a rich social, artistic and historical context, which provides multiple avenues for a greater understanding and appreciation of 19th-century girlhood,” said Connor.
The exhibition is accompanied by a major catalogue, co-published by the Newark Museum with Pomegranate Communications, Inc., which includes five illuminating essays by respected scholars in the field of nineteenth-century American art and culture.
For more information, visit the Museum’s web site, www.NewarkMuseum.org.