The Land Beneath Our Feet: American Art at the Smart Museum

June 27 – August 25, 2013


Tracing a chronological arc of almost a century, this exhibition showcases both familiar and lesser-known works from the Smart Museum’s collection of American art. It presents approximately eighty works—paintings, sculptures, prints, and photographs—by American artists, while exploring national context and changes in art between 1850 and 1945.

The exhibition will make a subtle nod to the hundredth anniversary of the 1913 Armory Show with paintings by two key artist-organizers, Arthur Davies and Walt Kuhn. Among other highlights are a wealth of survey photographs—including an exceptional panorama of the American West—taken by Timothy O’Sullivan and William Bell in the 1860s and 70s; celebrated etchings by James McNeill Whistler; landscape paintings by Tonalist master George Inness; and photographs by Walker Evans.


William Bell, William Merritt Chase, Jasper Francis Cropsey, Arthur Davies, Jo Davidson, Manierre Dawson, Arthur Dove, Walker Evans, Andreas Feininger, Childe Hassam, Lewis Hine, George Inness, Rockwell Kent, Walt Kuhn, Robert Laurent, John Mowbray-Clarke, Timothy O’Sullivan, Guy Pène du Bois, John Sloan, Raphael Soyer, John Storrs, Bessie Potter Vonnoh, James McNeill Whistler, and Grant Wood, among others.


Anne Leonard, Smart Museum Curator and Associate Director of Academic Initiatives.


This exhibition is supported in part by Nuveen Investments. 

Nuveen Investments

Presented in the Richard and Mary L. Gray Gallery for Special Exhibitions.

Top: Childe Hassam, On the Lake Front Promenade, Columbian World Exposition, 1893, Oil on canvas. Smart Museum of Art, The University of Chicago, The Harold H. Swift Bequest, 1962, 1976.146.
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