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American Masters


For more than 30 years the Somerville Manning Gallery has specialized in paintings by the Wyeth family.

N.C. Wyeth, "The Discoverer," 1926, 24 1/4 x 89 3/4 inches, Oil on hardboard

American Masters shows works by contemporaries of the three generations, N.C., Andrew, and Jamie; exploring the art world of each in their respective times. Paintings by N.C. Wyeth will hang next to American Impressionists, Childe Hassam, Mary Cassatt, and John Henry Twatchtman. Ashcan School artists, Maurice Prendergast, Everett Shinn, and William Glackens are included as well as masters John Singer Sargent and Philadelphia artist Thomas Anschutz.

Moving forward in American art history and painting at a comparable time to Andrew Wyeth is a work by the transcendentalist Charles Burchfield of his characteristic, mystical style of watercolor painting depicting the glory of nature. Master Edward Hopper is represented by a work from 1941 of a street scene with his classic architectural element. Milton Avery, considered the American Matisse, is included with a large oil of three figures lounging reading poetry.

The show represents the last part of the 20th century with several great works by Jamie Wyeth including his iconographic oil from the 1970s “Night Pigs.” The dominant theme in post-war American painting was abstract expressionism, although both Andrew and Jamie Wyeth continued a realist tradition. In contrast to their realism are two works by the abstractionist Theodore Stamos from the 1980s. A simple, minimalist charcoal drawing by Donald Sultan, characteristic of his large abstract compositions of still lives with dark borders, concludes the last part of the 20th century.

The exhibit runs through June 2, 2012.