American Encounters is a result of a four-year collaboration among the High Museum of Art, the musée du Louvre, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, and the Terra Foundation for American Art. The collaboration focuses on installations of American and European art.
The exhibition explores the birth of American landscape painting through the works of Thomas Cole and Asher B. Durand. In addition, the installation includes an earlier painting by Pierre-Antoine Patel the Younger that inspired Cole’s work after Cole saw it in Paris.
The works will be displayed in the High’s permanent collections galleries to add new dimension and nuance to the Museum’s own holdings.
The six paintings in the inaugural installation include:
- Thomas Cole, The Cross in Wilderness, 1845 (Louvre)
- Thomas Cole, Landscape with Figures: A Scene from ‘The Last of the Mohicans’, 1826 (Terra Foundation)
- Thomas Cole, The Good Shepherd, 1848 (Crystal Bridges)
- Thomas Cole, The Tempest, 1826 (High)
- Asher B. Durand, View near Rutland, Vermont, 1837 (High)
- Pierre-Antoine Patel the Younger, The Summer, 1699 (Louvre)
The exhibition premieres at the Louvre, then travels to Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, AR, and then to the High. The themes of future installations and their tour schedules will be announced at a later date.
History of Collaborations among the Partners
In 2003, the Terra Foundation supported a major conference on American art at the Louvre, entitled “The Independence of American Art.” In 2006, the Louvre and the Terra Foundation collaborated on two important projects: they presented the first American art exhibition at the Louvre, in which Samuel F. B. Morse’s monumental Gallery of the Louvre (1831–33) from the Foundation’s collection hung in the Louvre’s Salon Carré, the same room featured in the painting; and along with the Henry Luce Foundation, they created the Lafayette database, which is a comprehensive inventory of works of American art in French collections.
From 2006–2009, the Louvre and the High participated in a collection-sharing initiative called Louvre Atlanta that included a series of thematic exhibitions and the development of joint publications and other collaborative scholarship. The Terra Foundation also lent its Gallery of the Louvre as part of the Louvre-High collaboration; the painting was on view at the High Museum as part of the Kings as Collectors exhibition in 2006.