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In American Waters: The Sea in American Painting

Exhibition

For over 200 years, artists have been inspired to capture the beauty, violence, poetry, and transformative power of the sea in American life. Oceans play a key role in American society no matter where we live, and still today, the sea continues to inspire painters to capture its mystery and power.

In American Waters is a new exhibition in which the marine painting is revealed to be so much more than ship portraits. Visitors will be transported across time and water on the wave of a diverse range of modern and historical artists including Georgia O’Keeffe, Amy Sherald, Kay WalkingStick, Norman Rockwell, Hale Woodruff, Paul Cadmus, Thomas Hart Benton, Jacob Lawrence, Valerie Hegarty, Stuart Davis, and many more. In this exhibition, visitors will also discover the sea as an expansive way to reflect on American culture and environment, learn how coastal and maritime symbols moved inland across the United States, and question what it means to be “in American waters.”

Ship Southern Cross in Boston Harbor by Fitz Henry Lane
Fitz Henry Lane, Ship Southern Cross in Boston Harbor, 1851, Oil on canvas, 34 1/4 x 47 x 4 1/2 inches (86.995 x 119.38 x 11.43 cm) framed, Peabody Essex Museum, Gift of the estate of Stephen Wheatland, 1987, M18639. Courtesy of Peabody Essex Museum. Photo by Mark Sexton

In American Waters is co-created by Austen Bailly, chief curator, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art and Daniel Finamore, The Russell W. Knight Curator of Maritime Art and History, Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, Massachusetts. The exhibition will debut at Peabody Essex Museum on May 29, 2021 and is accompanied by a major multi-author illustrated publication published by Crystal Bridges and the University of Arkansas Press.

This exhibition is co-organized by Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art and Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, Massachusetts.

Blogs

In American Waters PEMcast: Our Connection to the Sea
William Trost Richards, Along the Shore

In American Waters PEMcast: Our Connection to the Sea

Exhibitions

PEMcast producer Dinah Cardin asked Crystal Bridges visitors: what is your experience with the sea?

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Return to the Sea: In American Waters Opens at Peabody Essex Museum
Ship Southern Cross in Boston Harbor by Fitz Henry Lane

Return to the Sea: In American Waters Opens at Peabody Essex Museum

Exhibitions

In American Waters opens today at Peabody Essex Museum. Check out their PEMcast episode here.

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Supported in part by:

Jeff and Sarah Teague | Citizens Bank
Sue and Charles Redfield

In American Waters is a part of the 10th Anniversary Exhibition Season at Crystal Bridges, supported in part by:

Tyson Logo

Tyson Family Foundation Logo

Willard & Pat Walker Charitable Foundation, Inc

James Dyke and Helen Porter


Stout Executive Search - Your Placement. Our Passion

Del Monte Logo

Chuck and Terri Erwin

Shelby and Frederick Gans


The Bogle Family

Rick and Beverly Chapman

Pat Cooper

Valorie and Randy Lawson | Lawco Energy Group

Stella Boyle Trust, Catherine and Michael Mayton, Truestees

Kelly and Marti Sudduth


Supported in part by:

iHeart Radio Logo

Bob and Becky Alexander, Anonymous, Ramsay and Jaquita Ball, Avis and Bill Bailey, Juan, Marcy, and Joaquin Camacho, Gelmart International, Greg Thompson Fine Art, Jim and Susan von Gremp, Meza Harris, Hyde Family Foundation, Steve and Susan Nelson, Catherine and Stephan Roche, JT and Imelda Rose,  Jon and Kim Shirley, Barbra and George Sycip, Engel & Völkers, and Deborah Wright.