Prints of the American City and Countryside, 1820-1920

On view October 3, 2014–January 4, 2015

Paper Landscapes

This focused exhibition features nineteenth- and early twentieth-century artists’ views of the American landscape, including a selection of never-before-shown masterworks of American art.

Showcasing twenty-five prints from the Mead’s collection, Paper Landscapes builds on discoveries made by the exhibition’s curator, Georgia Barnhill—curator emerita of graphic arts at the American Antiquarian Society in Worcester, Massachusetts—during her June 2013 Mellon Faculty Seminar, which examined American nineteenth-century lithographs and engravings. Among the exhibition’s many exciting surprises is a monumental color engraving rediscovered by Barnhill: Charles Mottram’s 1855 New York, which reproduces a design by John William Hill; this breathtaking, bird’s-eye view of the busy port has been conserved for the exhibition.

The prints on display document not only the changing American landscape, but also artists’ changing perceptions of the land and its uses. Highlights include selections from William Guy Wall’s and John Hill’s Hudson River Portfolio; views of New York from the early 1820s and 1850s; views of Amherst; tourist prints issued by Currier & Ives; and etchings from the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries that capture artists’ personal responses to landscapes.

On Friday, October 17, at 4:30 p.m., join exhibition curator Georgia Barnhill for a closer look inside the exhibition.

Annotated and Illustrated Exhibition Checklist

Made possible with generous support from the David W. Mesker, Class of 1953, Fund and the Hall and Kate Peterson Fund.