Sunday, October 26, 2008

Children In American Art

I went to the Dayton Art Institute today to see their exhibit "Children in American Art". Boston Museum of Fine Art loaned 46 paintings to create this exhibit of children in the 18th and 19th century. There were paintings by American artist such as: John Singleton Copley, Gilbert Stuart, Frank Weston Benson, James McNeill Whistler, Winslow Homer, Mary Cassatt, and John Singer Sargent plus a few others. My mom, my friends and I enjoyed the exhibit very much. It was interesting to see the different interpretations and painting styles from those eras. In some of the earlier works (ie. 18th century) the children looked older then they were. I know how hard it is to make a baby or young child look their age, but a few of these portraits were harsh or the heads were too large with lots of large shoulders. Yet, they painted with meticulous detail on the lace of the hats and clothes, fringe on curtains, the carpeting design and objects around the children. Being a Sargent and Cassatt fan, I was not disappointed with the entries represented. DAI also had a nice little video on Mary Cassatt. I was also impressed with the two Frank W. Benson's. I really liked the one of a girl in a white dress. As always with this era, I am blown away with the way materials are painted. You just feel the satin, ribbons, lace and velour with your eyes. As with the little girl in the white dress, I felt like I could feel her deep brown tights as their thickness contrasted with her cotton white dress. This exhibit is well done and I hope anyone in the southwest Ohio/Tri-state area takes the time to see this exhibit before it ends January 4, 2009.

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