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America

The collection of American art at Vanderbilt is one of the strongest areas of the university’s holdings and provides a broad portrait of nineteenth-, twentieth-, and twenty-first-century stylistic movements. The 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, a famed teacher as well as artist, whose students included Charles Demuth, Georgia O’Keeffe, and Charles Sheeler. The collection also includes The Picnic, Vermont, by Milton Avery, who 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 executed works that fully exploited and expanded the medium of printmaking. 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

The Picnic, Vermont, 1940

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

Study for Recess #1, 1975

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

School Girls (Study for Recess #1), 1975

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

Still Life with Fish

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

The Old Homestead, Wyoming Valley

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

Brownstone All-Stars

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

Space Drawing

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

The Skyscraper Window

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

Lake George

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

Scene from a Novel or a Subject from Literature

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

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

American Sculpture

Maz
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
Checkers Up At the Farm

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

American Graphic Arts

Blackburn

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

Girl in the Garden from American Portfolio

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

The Well House

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

Anthropologist with Noodles
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
Nameless, 2001

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

Front, from A Word Made Flesh

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

Spirits Watching

David Driskell (American, b. 1931)
Spirits Watching, 1986
Lithograph
21″ x 30″
Vanderbilt Art Association Acquisition Fund Purchase
1989.047

Blow Up II (Armory), from America: Now + Here, a portfolio

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

Night in New York, 1932

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

Girl Walking

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

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

From, The Jolly Corner, 1971

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

Connecticut Pastoral, 1936

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

The 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

Swim /ROCI USA

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

Backdrops Circa 1940s

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

The Emancipation Approximation (Scene 5)

Kara Walker (American, b. 1969)
The Emancipation Approximation (Scene 5), 1999-2000
Serigraph
44″ x 43″
Louise Bullard Wallace Fund Purchase
2001.006

Not Manet’s Type

Carrie Mae Weems (American, b. 1950)
Not Manet’s Type, 2001
Photolithograph
40″ x 20″
Janice D. Forsythe Memorial Fund Purchase
2002.001

Family Doctor

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