American Stories: Paintings of Everyday Life, 1765–1915

Art of the Americas Building, Level 2
February 28, 2010–May 23, 2010

From the colonial period to the present, Americans have been inventing characters and plots, settings and situations to give meaning to our everyday lives. American Stories: Paintings of Everyday Life, 1765-1915 includes seventy-five paintings, from before the Revolution to the start of World War I, that tell these stories in scenes of family life and courting, work and leisure, comic mishaps and disasters. These daily experiences were all subject to the artist’s searching and revealing eye and many of the works on view are famous images known to almost every American. Major artists such as Thomas Eakins and Winslow Homer, John Singleton Copley and George Caleb Bingham, John Singer Sargent and Mary Cassatt, are included in this important survey, the first of its kind in over thirty years.

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The Los Angeles presentation is made possible through a generous gift from LACMA’s Art Museum Council.  In-kind media support provided by KCRW.

The exhibition was organized by the Metropolitan Museum of Art. It is supported by an indemnity from the Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities.

Image: John Singleton Copley, Watson and the Shark, 1778, oil on canvas, 71 3/4 x 90 1/2 in. (182.2 x 229.9 cm), National Gallery of Art, Washington, Ferdinand Belin Fund (1963.6.1), image courtesy of the Board of Trustees, National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C.