Last year, long-time museum supporters Priscilla and John Richman gave the Norton five American paintings. To celebrate their generosity, the museum has organized a focus exhibition that will showcase these works alongside the six American pictures the couple gave as a promised gift in 2002.
The Richmans’ collecting has centered around American painters who worked in representational styles in the first decades of the twentieth century. Although this was the era when American artists began experimenting with abstraction, many concluded that a connection to the visible world was necessary for their work.
This exhibition includes beautiful American Impressionist paintings by Frederick Frieseke and Abbott Fuller Graves, insightful depictions of working class people by Ashcan School artists Robert Henri and John Sloan, and Social Realist and Regionalist work by leading 1930s artists Thomas Hart Benton and Rockwell Kent. Together, they demonstrate the variety of ways American painters addressed their newly modern world in the early 20th century.