The National Museum of American Art at Salve Regina University in Newport, RI was the first to promote the art form of American Illustration. The almost priceless paintings on display convey an idea of the American ideology that was present during different eras. The Golden Age of American Illustration was between 1870 and 1950, and the original paintings and drawings from the collection were specifically made for books, newspapers, advertisements, art prints, and periodicals, providing an interesting and in-depth look at an interpretation of days and styles long gone.
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The American Imagists Collection is pure Americana, boasting large catalogs that are nearly four decades old. There are original artworks from Maxfield Parrish, who is one of the best-represented artists in the Museum of American Illustration, followed by Norman Rockwell and J.C. Leyendecker. Works by 150 more American illustrators can also be found here and their parameters, aesthetics, and specific subject matters still remain relevant to this day. The concept of art is to convey an idea of the world through a visual medium, and the exhibits here remind visitors that there was once no TV, radio, phones, or much of the technology we take for granted now.
The American Imagist Collection allows a closer look at the artists and their styles, and although the museum acknowledges that not all the artists’ works are on display, the works here can give a comprehensive impression. There are a number of artists showcased here, including Charles Dana Gibson, John La Gatta, Coles Phillips, Howard Pyle, Frank Schoonover, and many more.
VERNON COURT, 492 Bellevue Avenue, Newport, RI 02840, americanillustration.org/admission, Phone: 401-851-8949