Works by John White Alexander highlight an exhibition of American Paintings and Sculpture that span a wide range of movements and styles. A centerpiece of the show is a major Alexander of the artist’s wife in an interior painted circa 1887. Works by Alexander are scarce and this group examines a range of works from an oil sketch to a stunning portrait of a gentleman that demonstrates the artist’s mastery of light and shadow. A museum retrospective of John White Alexander will open in 2015 at The Milwaukee Museum, travel to the Chrysler Museum in Norfolk, Virginia in 2016 and finish at the Carnegie Museum of art in Pittsburgh.
Earlier American works that will stand with Alexander is an 1888 Robert Vonnoh painted in Grez, reflecting the influence of Manet and possibly Caillebotte on the artist. Another highlight is a watercolor by Andrew Wyeth depicting Kuerner’s Farm in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania. There are Post-Impressionist pieces by George and Henriette Oberteuffer, Martha Walter and Charles Hoffbauer. Sculptures that accompany these works are also a focal point. Three works by Hiram Powers are of note as his classic Proserpine is a favorite and his portrait of William Wolcott Wadsworth is a unique work that may surprise collectors knowledgeable of his work. These marbles are a foil to the reduction size bronze of his masterpiece The Greek Slave. A famous self-portrait bust by one of America’s earliest sculptors, William Rush is noted for its unusual Pine Knot motif. The list continues with an intimate group of small bronzes by Bessie Potter Vonnoh, a rare Ash Can school piece by Abastenia St. Leger Eberle and one of Max Kalish’s most compelling models, The Steel Worker, 1920. Great examples by Western sculptors Charles Schreyvogel, Charles Humphriss and James Earle Fraser will also be on display.
Contemporary and abstract artists of the 20th century are dynamically represented by a 1959 Norman Bluhm, a desirable Sun Field Theodore Stamos, a classic vertical Larry Poons and a 1962 Thomas Downing circle composition. Two large works by Stephen Hannock from his flooded river series are of important note as these canvases only become available when they come out of private collections. Contemporary sculptures include a spray by Harry Bertoia, an Elizabeth Catlett figural work and two significant Sidney Gordin constructions from the late 1940’s.