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Nature's Nation: American Art and Environment

May 25 – September 9, 2019

Nature's Nation

Nature’s Nation: American Art and Environment is a new exhibition that examines American artists’ impact on shaping environmental understanding and stewardship.

Featuring 100 artworks from 70 eminent US collections, Nature’s Nation traces 300 years of evolving ideas about the natural world and our place within it. From colonial beliefs about the divine in nature, to artists’ advocacy for national parks, to the emergence of environmental activism, the paintings, photographs, and installations by Thomas Moran, Frank Lloyd Wright, Dorothea Lange, and many more explore our relationship with the environment.

Similar to the mission of Crystal Bridges, Nature’s Nation illuminates the connection between art and nature.

John James Audubon, Carolina Parrot
John James Audubon, Carolina Parrot, published in The Birds of America, Vol. 1, Pl. 26., London: 1827-38, Hand-colored engraving and aquatint on Whatman wove paper by Robert Havell Jr., Princeton University Library, Rare Books and Special Collections.

Nature’s Nation: American Art and Environment has been organized by the Princeton University Art Museum. Leadership support has been provided by Shelly and Tony Malkin; Annette Merle-Smith; the Henry Luce Foundation; and the National Endowment for the Arts. The exhibition traveled to the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, MA and concluded at Crystal Bridges.

This project is supported in part by a grant from the Arkansas Humanities Council and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

This exhibition is supported by an indemnity from the Federal Council
on the Arts and the Humanities.

 

Learn about Nature’s Nation in our blog

Nature's Nation First Look: Charles Willson Peale
Charles Willson Peale, The Artist in His Museum, 1822

Nature's Nation First Look: Charles Willson Peale

Art & Collection Exhibitions
Collection Connection: Charles Willson Peale is one of the most influential figures in American art—he had a large artistic family who collectively helped shape the image of the nation. See:…
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The Summer of Nature: Discussing Architecture on Museum Way
Museum Way Podcast icon

The Summer of Nature: Discussing Architecture on Museum Way

Art & Collection
Read this episode's transcript   Subscribe Now! Subscribe to be the first to listen, and head over to our social media channels to let us know what you'd like to…
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The Summer of Nature: Reducing Waste with Coca-Cola
Hand throwing coke can in a recycling bin

The Summer of Nature: Reducing Waste with Coca-Cola

At the Museum Nature & Outdoor

At the beginning of this year, Crystal Bridges decided to increase its effort to reduce waste museum-wide. In order to make this initiative possible, the museum partnered with Coca-Cola, a…

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The Summer of Nature: Discover America's Lands on Earth Day
Lower Yellowstone Falls from Artist Point

The Summer of Nature: Discover America's Lands on Earth Day

Exhibitions

How the Other Half Lives (New York)   Cities are necessary to hold people and provide jobs, but cities can also tell a story about the environment through stories…

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Happy Birthday, Yellowstone National Park!
Thomas Moran, “Green River, Wyoming

Happy Birthday, Yellowstone National Park!

Exhibitions

“The Mountains south east of our Camp & on the road to the lake looking toward the Yellowstone Country, glorious, & I do not expect to see any finer general…

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Sponsored By

Coca-Cola logo Cox logo Northwest Arkansas Democrat Gazette logo

Harriet and Warren Stephens, Stephens Inc., The Harrison and Rhonda French Family,
Jim and Susan von Gremp, Galen, Debi, and Alice Havner,
Highland, Adam D. Stolpen, James and Emily Bost

Video Promotions

Frank Lloyd Wright, Tree of Life Window, 1904. Glass with brass caming in modern oak frame.
Princeton University Art Museum. Museum purchase, Fowler McCormick, Class of 1921, Fund.
© 2013 Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation, Scottsdale, AZ/Aritists Rights Society (ARS), NY

Frederic Edwin Church, American, 1826–1900, Cayambe,
1858. Oil on canvas. New-York Historical Society, The
Robert L. Stuart Collection, the gift of his widow Mrs. Mary
Stuart. Digital image created by Oppenheimer Editions.

James Hamilton, American, born Ireland, 1819–1878,
Burning Oil Well at Night, near Rouseville, Pennsylvania,
ca. 1861. Oil on paperboard. Smithsonian American Art
Museum, Museum purchase. Smithsonian American Art
Museum, Washington, DC / Art Resource, NY.

Albert Bierstadt, American, 1830–1902, Mount Adams,
Washington
, 1875. Oil on canvas. Princeton University Art
Museum, Gift of Mrs. Jacob N. Beam.

Albert Bierstadt, American, 1830–1902, Bridal Veil Falls,
Yosemite, ca. 1871–73. Oil on canvas. North Carolina
Museum of Art, Raleigh, Purchased with funds from the
North Carolina State Art Society (Robert F. Phifer Bequest)
and various donors, by exchange.

Morris Louis, American, 1912–1962, Intrigue, 1954. Acrylic
resin (Magna) on canvas. Princeton University Art
Museum, Gift of Sylvia and Joseph Slifka in honor of
Frederick R. and Jan Perry Mayer. © 1954, Morris Louis.

Alan Michelson, Mohawk, born 1953, Home in the
Wilderness, 2012. Handmade paper, archival ink, and
archival board. Collection of the Artist. © Alan Michelson.

Thomas Cole, American, 1801–1848, Home in the Woods,
1847. Oil on canvas. Reynolda House Museum of American
Art, Winston-Salem, NC, gift of Barbara B. Millhouse.
Reynolda House is an Affiliate of Wake Forest University..
Courtesy of Reynolda House Museum of American Art,
Affiliated with Wake Forest University.

Newell Convers Wyeth, American, 1882–1945, Roping
Horses in the Corral, 1904. Oil on canvas. Private
Collection.

Charles Willson Peale, American, 1741–1827, George
Washington at the Battle of Princeton
, 1783–84. Oil on
canvas. Princeton University, commissioned by the
Trustees.

Valerie Hegarty, American, born 1967, Fallen Bierstadt,
2007. Foamcore, paint, paper, glue, gel medium, canvas,
wire, wood. Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Campari, USA 2008.
9a-b. © Valerie Hegarty. Photo: Brooklyn Museum

Charles Willson Peale, American, 1741–1827, The Artist in
His Museum
, 1822. Oil on canvas. Pennsylvania Academy
of the Fine Arts. Gift of Mrs. Sarah Harrison (The Joseph
Harrison, Jr. Collection), 1878.1.2.

Robert Walter Weir, American, 1803–1889, The Greenwich
Boat Club
, 1833. Oil on canvas. Princeton University Art
Museum, Museum purchase, Fowler McCormick, Class of
1921, Fund and the Kathleen Compton Sherrerd Fund for
Acquisitions in American Art; frame gift of Eli Wilner&
Company . Photo Bruce M. White.

Robert Smithson, American, 1938–1973, Bingham Copper
Mining Pit
, Utah Reclamation Project, 1973. Wax pencil
and tape on plastic overlay on photograph. Seibert Family
Collection. Art © Holt/Smithson Foundation/Licensed by
VAGA, New York, NY.

Alexandre Hogue, American, 1898 – 1994, Crucified Land,
1939. Oil on canvas. Gift of Thomas Gilcrease Foundation,
1955 Gilcrease Museum, Tulsa Oklahoma. © Estate of
Alexandre Hogue.

Kent Monkman, Cree, born 1965, The Fourth World, 2012.
Acrylic paint on canvas. Lent by Denver Art Museum.
Collection of Vicki and Kent Logan. © Kent Monkman.
Photography courtesy of Denver Art Museum.

John Gast, American, born in Germany, 1842–1896,
American Progress, 1872. Oil on canvas. Autry Museum of
the American West, Los Angeles.

Thomas Cole, American, 1801–1848, Home in the Woods,
1847. Oil on canvas. Reynolda House Museum of American
Art, Winston-Salem, NC, gift of Barbara B. Millhouse.
Reynolda House is an Affiliate of Wake Forest University.
Courtesy of Reynolda House Museum of American Art,
Affiliated with Wake Forest University.