Best Painting Exhibition (2012)

"American Treasures: Masterworks From the Butler Institute of American Art"

Not to discount installation art or performance art or conceptual art or any other kind of art that has trended upward in recent years, but there are times when you just want to look at a bunch of paintings. For those times, there are shows like this one at the Boca Museum, made available to South Florida courtesy of Ohio's Butler Institute, which opened in 1919 as the country's first museum devoted exclusively to American art. The exhibition included only 36 works, but most of them were paintings that lived up to their billing as "masterworks." Where else, outside of a museum comparable to New York's Metropolitan, would you find a roll call that includes Edward Hopper, Robert Motherwell, Georgia O'Keeffe, Jackson Pollock, Andrew Wyeth, and Andy Warhol, to name but a few? Where else, indeed, would significant works by such major artists be overshadowed by paintings like Albert Bierstadt's The Oregon Trail and Thomas Cole's Italian Landscape, which almost stole the show?


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