Instructor: Bob Potter
Classes: Thursdays: 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
April 12, 19, 26 & May 3, 10
Fee: $125 members/ $150 non-members
The people and landscapes of America, from the mid 18th century to the early 20th century, have been some of the most compelling subjects for artists to study, paint, and photograph. In timeless images, they captured new ways of seeing and recording a new country as it evolves through some of its most transformative and turbulent eras.
This 5-part lecture series will begin with Colonial America and the works of artists such as Charles Wilson Peale, Benjamin West, Gilbert Stuart, John Singleton Copley and other 18th century American artists. Works of art will include those from the permanent collection of the Lyman Allyn Museum and other leading American museums.
Westward Ho! will explore the work of painters George Catlin, George Caleb Bingham, Thomas Moran, Frederic Remington, John James Audubon, and Albert Bierstadt as each ventures Westward into the American frontier with canvas, paint and brush to record native inhabitants, pioneers, and a seemingly endless landscape revealing a new world of beauty and wonder.
In A Nation Divided, A Nation Restored, as the Civil War tears apart this new country, artists like Winslow Homer and photographer Matthew Brady show an American public the face of war. Eastman Johnson captures the African American experience from slavery to freedom and Thomas Eakins will paint images of a post-war America building a new future as it struggles to define its identity.
American Impressionists and the Gilded Age features artists such as Childe Hassam, John Twachtman, Mary Cassatt, Willard Metcalf, and William Merritt Chase who often worked outdoors to record gorgeous aspects of light and color, hallmarks of the French impressionist style now embraced by these American artists. John Singer Sargent and James McNeil Whistler will capture in portraits a new class of American wealth and prosperity in America’s Gilded Age.
In American Boom and Bust, as the United States steps on to the world stage in the early 20th century, artists like Grant Wood and Thomas Hart Benton show us a rural world and its people at odds with the gritty urban reality displayed by the Ashcan School of artists Robert Henri and John Sloan, the dust bowl migrants of photographer Dorothea Lange, and the African Americans Great Migration north depicted by Jacob Lawrence. A new American realism will be inspired by artists George Bellows, Reginald Marsh, and Edward Hopper.
Through a wide range of visual images, videos, profiles of the artists, and historical context, this course will explore the artists, the subjects they painted and photographed, and the changing historical events and artistic movements that influenced society. The program will also include a Syllabus of recommended reading, relevant films, and online sources of information.
Weekly class will be held in the auditorium of the Lyman Allyn Art Museum, 625 Williams Street, New London. Advanced reservations are required for the series: please contact the Education Department at 860-443-2545 x2110 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bob Potter is a graduate of Syracuse University’s School of Visual and Performing Arts. He spent his early career as an art director and creative director for leading media companies including Scholastic Magazines, Time Warner, and National Geographic. Over the past decade, he helped create an innovative art therapy program for Save The Children, was a corporate development officer for the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC, and headed all marketing and communications for the Mystic Seaport Museum. Most re-cently, he launched a professional development program for art students at the Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts and is a docent at the Yale Center For British Art. He and his wife Jeanne, who is an artist, live in Old Lyme, Connecticut.