For over 200 years, artists have been inspired to capture the beauty, violence, poetry, and transformative power of the sea in American life. Oceans play a key role in American society no matter where we live, and still today, the sea continues to inspire painters to capture its mystery and power.
In American Waters: The Sea in American Painting is a new exhibition in which marine painting is revealed to be so much more than ship portraits. Visitors will be transported across time and water on the wave of a diverse range of modern and historical artists including Georgia O’Keeffe, Amy Sherald, Kay WalkingStick, Norman Rockwell, Hale Woodruff, Paul Cadmus, Thomas Hart Benton, Jacob Lawrence, Valerie Hegarty, Stuart Davis, and many more.
Visitors will discover the sea as an expansive way to reflect on American culture and environment, learn how coastal and maritime symbols moved inland across the United States, and question what it means to be “in American waters.”
In American Waters is co-created by Austen Bailly, chief curator, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art and Daniel Finamore, The Russell W. Knight Curator of Maritime Art and History, Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, Massachusetts.
This exhibition is co-organized by Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art and Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, Massachusetts, and is accompanied by a major multi-author illustrated publication published by Crystal Bridges and the University of Arkansas Press.