"American Sublime" opens this week at the Minneapolis Institute of Art. Oddly enough, this exhibition of 19th-century American landscapes was organized by the Tate Gallery in London. It's designed to give visitors an "awe inspiring" view of America's scenery.
Artist and explorer George Catlin preserved Native American land and custom through his 19th-century paintings. They're now on view in Washington at the Smithsonian American Art Museum.
Says curator W. Richard West, "It is tremendous value to both non-Indians and Native Americans, simply because it's one of the most authentic visual records we have of things relating to Indian people of that time."
At the Metropolitan Museum in New York City, landscapes from the Hudson River School of painters are on display, in an exhibit of "American Drawings and Watercolors." Watercolor became popular in the1800s, says curator Carrie Barratt, "especially in the 1840s, when it became portable, when you could carry small boxes and pigments with you on a trip."
And it's not just scenery. Portraits are popular this fall, too. From the earliest daguerrotypes, to photographs by modern masters, "A Century of Portraits" is a Metropolitan Museum show, designed to accompany an even bigger show – portraits by celebrated photographer Richard Avedon, opening later in September.
In Boston, classic images of John Singer Sargent will grace the walls of the Museum of Fine Arts.
And in Los Angeles at the Getty, drawings by Jean-Baptiste Grueze are on view. Grueze is considered to be one of France's greatest draftsmen.
An unprecedented exhibition is at the Milwaukee Art Museum: "Leonardo Da Vinci and the Splendor of Poland." It includes paintings by da Vinci and others that have never before been seen in the United States.
"It's a fantastic exhibition, featuring masterworks of European and Polish painting from the Renaissance to the end of the 19th century," says curator Laurie Winters, adding that it's extraordinary for Poland to have loaned this work to the U.S. The paintings, including da Vinci's "Lady With an Ermine," will be on view in Milwaukee until late November, and then travel to Houston and San Francisco.