On September 21, the Corcoran Gallery of Art and College of Art + Design will open American Journeys—Visions of Place, a new installation of the Corcoran’s renowned pre-1945 American paintings and sculpture collection that conveys the changing notion of place in the history of American art. Featuring more paintings—approximately 110—than have ever been on view in the galleries of historic American art, and for the first time in over a decade integrating paintings and sculpture for a total of approximately 125 works on view, the reinstallation reflects the Corcoran’s commitment to American art.
Led by Bechhoefer Curator of American Art Sarah Cash, the reinstallation is devoted to how the ideas of place and American artistic identity have shifted over time through increased communication and connectedness. The galleries will be installed in a variety of styles to evoke the time in which the works were created. Two galleries will feature a “Salon-style” hang, with works presented from eye-level up to the ceiling as exhibitions often were designed in the nineteenth century. The reinstalled galleries will be divided into four sections: “Pride of Place: The New Nation,” “The Lure of Paris,” “New York in the New Century,” and “Beyond Borders: Modernism.”
American Journeys concludes with a glimpse across the decades to British-Nigerian artist Yinka Shonibare’s sculpture Girl on Globe II, installed in the center of the Salon Doré, a grand eighteenth-century period room in the Gallery’s Clark Wing.
iPads located in the galleries allow visitors to zoom in on images and obtain detailed information about the art on display. For Rembrandt Peale’s Washington before Yorktown, visitors explore the results of a major recent conservation treatment on that painting. In addition to the in-gallery iPads, an app gives visitors the opportunity to personalize their experience with the collection through music, games, and other interactive content.
On Friday, September 27, the Corcoran's 1869 Society will host Fall Fete: Americans in Paris. The black tie-optional event celebrates the historic American art collection. Proceeds benefit ArtReach, the Corcoran's educational outreach program.