The American collection is the oldest in the museum, having begun with the acquisition of George Bellows’s Cliff Dwellers in 1916. Today the collection—consisting primarily of paintings and sculptures dating from the colonial period to World War II—provides an excellent survey of the development of art and culture throughout the nation and the region. Combined with related holdings of American decorative art, the collection recently moved to redesigned and expanded galleries emphasizing the international context of our nation’s art.
Compass for Surveyors: 19th Century American Landscapes
Associate Curator José Luis Blondet discusses the reinstallation of the American Art galleries.
My first position at LACMA, in 1991, entailed assisting curator Ilene Susan Fort in the American Art curatorial department, so I had a great introduction to the paintings now on view, and many of the landscapes became my LACMA favorites. American photography has been an interest of mine, as well, since the medium, introduced to America in 1839, literally grew up with the nation. So the whole idea of Compass for Surveyors is fascinating.
Last week I traveled to New York for a few days—my first time back in many years. I lived in New York for half a decade in the early aughts, though I always knew my time there would be limited. Like many people I had a love/hate relationship with the city...