America the Beautiful
A Charlotte exhibition offers a rare, long look at America’s art and culture
Paper is a delicate yet enduring medium. It can be destroyed in an instant, or with great care, can be preserved for centuries. The exhibition "America the Beautiful: Works on Paper" at the Mint Museum Uptown in Charlotte has assembled an impressive breadth of works on paper, encompassing more than 150 years of America's history.
Works on paper are extremely light-sensitive and can be on view for brief periods only. The Charlotte exhibition extends a rare chance to view works from some of America's finest artists.
"America the Beautiful," on view now through October 4, features nearly 200 works, including various styles of prints, drawings, watercolors and pastels. They range from quick on-site sketches and highly finished academic drawings to expressionistic portraits and abstracted landscapes. While some have recently been on view in the museum's permanent collection galleries, many others have not been seen for several years, or have only just entered the collection.
"The range of media subject matter is so broad that there truly is something for everyone," said exhibition curator Jonathan Stuhlman.
Many of the works have far-reaching roots, such as art by Mexican-American Diego Rivera, Swiss-American Kurt Seligmann, and Clare Leighton, a British-American.
There are also works by artists with local and regional connections, such as Elliot Daingerfield, who was raised in Fayetteville, and Will Henry Stevens, who summered in the North Carolina mountains. African-American artists featured include Henry Ossawa Tanner, who lived in Highlands, Loïs Mailou Jones (once a prep school instructor in Sedalia) and Romare Bearden, who was born in Charlotte.
In all, the works document the widespread changes that have occurred in American art.