Seeing America – Theme: American and regional culture

De Bry's images of the Americas affirm and assert a sense of European superiority.

Picturing America

Thomas Cole, The Architect's Dream, 1840, oil on canvas, 134.7 x 213.6 cm (Toledo Museum of Art)
Cole, the great American landscape painter, looks across the vast history of Western architecture

Dreaming big

Aaron Douglas, Aspiration, 1936, oil on canvas, 152.4 x 152.4 cm (Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco)
One of two panels to survive the Texas Centennial, pointing to a future free of racism.

A beacon of hope

Masami Teraoka, American Kabuki, 1986, watercolor and sumi ink on paper mounted on a four-panel screen, 196.9 x 393.7 x 3 cm (de Young Museum, Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco) © Masami Teraoka
Teraoka draws on Japan's brilliant history of art and kabuki theatre to create beauty from heartrending tragedy

American Kabuki

Edward Hicks, The Peaceable Kingdom, 1826, oil on canvas, 83.5 x 106 cm (Philadelphia Museum of Art)
In his Peaceable Kingdom series of over 60 images, Hicks depicts a visionary scene of peace on earth that extends back to include William Penn and the founding of Pennsylvania.

The Peaceable Kingdom as Penn’s parable

George Grosz, Remembering, 1937, oil on canvas, 71.2 x 91.76 cm (Minneapolis Institute of Art, © Estate of George Grosz)
Nazi violence forced many artists and intellectuals to leave Germany in the 1930s, and like Grosz, many came to the United States.

The premonition of Remembering