May 14, 2012 Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art has opened a special, collaborative exhibition that explores the birth of American landscape painting through the works of Thomas Cole and Asher B. Durand. “American Encounters: Thomas Cole and the Narrative Landscape” is the first of a four-year partnership between Crystal Bridges, the musée du Louvre, the High Museum of Art, Atlanta, and the Terra Foundation for American Art. The collaboration is devoted to producing annual installations of American and European art that will appear at each of the partner institutions. “American Encounters” will remain on view at Crystal Bridges through August 13. The exhibition features six paintings, including four by Thomas Cole, one by Asher B. Durand, and an earlier painting by Pierre-Antoine Patel the Younger which inspired Cole’s work after the artist saw it in Paris. The works included in “American Encounters” are: Thomas Cole, “The Cross in Wilderness,” 1845 (Louvre) Thomas Cole, “Landscape with Figures: A Scene from ‘The August 13. Last of the Mohicans’,” 1826 (Terra Foundation) Thomas Cole, “The Good Shepherd,” 1848 (Crystal Bridges) Thomas Cole, “The Tempest,” 1826 (High) Asher B. Durand, “View near Rutland, Vermont,” 1837 (High) Pierre-Antoine Patel the Younger, “The Summer,” 1699 (Louvre) Following its appearance at Crystal Bridges, the exhibition will travel to the High Museum where it will be on view from Sept. 22, 2012 through Jan. 6, 2013. The organizing themes of future installations and their tour schedules will be announced at a later date. “American Encounters: Thomas Cole and the Narrative Landscape” is a perfect complement to a concurrent, but separate temporary exhibition now on view at Crystal Bridges through Sept. 3: “The Hudson River School: Landscape and the American Vision” features 45 works of art from the New-York Historical Society by Hudson River School artists such as Thomas Cole, Asher B. Durand, John F. Kensett, Albert Bierstadt, Jasper F. Cropsey and many others. This exhibition was organized by the New-York Historical Society, and is sponsored at Crystal Bridges by U.S. Trust, Christie’s, the Harrison and Rhonda French Family, and Mitchell, Williams, Selig, Gates & Woodyard, P.L.L.C. General admission to Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, including the “American Encounters” focus exhibition, is sponsored by Walmart. There is no fee to view the Museum’s permanent collection. Admission to view “The Hudson River School: Landscape and the American Vision” is $5 for non-Members, and free for Crystal Bridges Members and guests under age 18. For information, or to purchase tickets, visit the Museum’s web site: CrystalBridges.org. History of Collaborations among the Partners In 2003, the Terra Foundation supported a major conference on American art at the Louvre, entitled “The Independence of American Art.” In 2006, the Louvre and the Terra Foundation collaborated on two important projects: they presented the first American art exhibition at the Louvre, in which Samuel F. B. Morse’s monumental Gallery of the Louvre (1831—33) from the foundation’s collection hung in the Louvre’s Salon Carré, the same room featured in the painting; and along with the Henry Luce Foundation, they created the Lafayette database, which is a comprehensive inventory of works of American art in French collections. From 2006—2009, the Louvre and the High participated in a collection-sharing initiative called “Louvre Atlanta” that included a series of thematic exhibitions and the development of joint publications and other collaborative scholarship. The Terra Foundation also lent its Gallery of the Louvre as part of the Louvre-High collaboration; the painting was on view at the High Museum as part of the “Kings as Collectors” exhibition in 2006. Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art explores the unfolding story of America through the collection of works that illuminate American heritage and artistic possibilities. Founded in 2005 by the Walton Family Foundation, the Museum opened on November 11, 2011. The Museum takes its name from a nearby natural spring and the bridge construction incorporated in the building design by architect Moshe Safdie. A series of pavilions nestled around two spring-fed ponds house collection and exhibition galleries, meeting and classroom spaces, and a large, glass-enclosed gathering hall. The Museum’s goal of uniting art and nature is realized not only by the physical building, but through sculpture and walking trails, which link the Museum’s 120-acre park and gardens to downtown Bentonville, Arkansas. The Museum’s permanent collection spans five centuries of American paintings, sculpture, and works on paper ranging from the Colonial era to the current day. crystalbridges.org. High Museum of Art The High Museum of Art in Atlanta, Georgia is the leading art museum in the southeastern United States. Located in Midtown Atlanta’s arts and business district, the High has more than 12,000 works of art in its permanent collection. The Museum has an extensive anthology of 19th- and 20th-century American art; significant holdings of European paintings and decorative art; a growing collection of African American art; and burgeoning collections of modern and contemporary art, photography and African art. The High is also dedicated to supporting and collecting works by Southern artists and is distinguished as the only major museum in North America to have a curatorial department specifically devoted to the field of folk and self-taught art. In November 2005 the High opened three new buildings by architect Renzo Piano that more than doubled the Museum’s size, creating a vibrant “village for the arts” at the Woodruff Arts Center in midtown Atlanta. www.High.org. musée du Louvre Endowed with an exceptional artistic inheritance of works of art that date up to the mid-nineteenth century, the musée du Louvre aspires to engage national and international audiences in understanding the variety and richness of civilizations essential to the history of humanity. The museum opened to the public in 1793 and now welcomes more than 8.5 million visitors each year. A unique place in the world, bearing witness to eight centuries of history, the museum presents Western art from the Middle Ages to 1848 and the works of ancient civilizations that preceded and influenced it (Egyptian, Greek, Etruscan and Roman Antiquities, Near-Eastern Art, the Arts of Islam). www.louvre.fr. Terra Foundation for American Art Established in 1978, the Terra Foundation for American Art is dedicated to fostering the exploration, understanding, and enjoyment of the visual arts of the United States. With an exceptional collection of American art from the colonial era to 1945, an expansive grant program, and specialized staff at its Chicago and Paris offices, it is one of the leading foundations focused on American art, and devotes approximately $12 million annually in support of American art exhibitions, projects, and research worldwide. www.terraamericanart.org. # # # The mission of Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art is to welcome all to celebrate the American spirit in a setting that unites the power of art with the beauty of landscape. We explore the unfolding story of America by actively collecting, exhibiting, interpreting, and preserving outstanding works that illuminate our heritage and artistic possibilities. Opened to the public on 11-11-11, Crystal Bridges was founded in 2005 by Alice Walton, who chairs the Museum’s board of directors.