The Museum’s collection of American paintings, sculpture, and works on paper contains approximately 1,000 works of art dating from the 18th century to 1960. The institution’s founder, Ralph Norton, began by collecting American art, and his holdings still form the core of his Museum’s collection today. Norton was passionate about the art of his time – the first half of the 20th century – so the collection is particularly strong in that area. He acquired major oil paintings by George Bellows, Charles Demuth, Edward Hopper, Georgia O’Keeffe, Robert Motherwell, and Charles Sheeler; sculptures by Paul Manship, Theodore Roszak, and William Zorach; and watercolors by Charles Burchfield, Winslow Homer, and John Marin, among many others.
Significant acquisitions after Norton’s death in 1953 include the purchases of Stuart Davis’ 1932 painting New York Mural and Jackson Pollock’s 1945 canvas Night Mist as well as a gift of 19 paintings from Elsie and Marvin Dekelboum in 2005. Since 2014, a number of significant American art acquisitions have been made through the generosity of the Museum’s Friends of American Art.