The exhibition For America: 200 Years of Painting from the National Academy of Design will be on display at the Figge Art Museum in Davenport, IA from Feb 20 - May 16, 2021. Consisting of nearly 100 paintings spanning the time from the early 19th century through the beginning of the 21st century, this exhibit presents an immersion course in American painting through which the visitor will understand the evolution of American art told by the very artists who created it – an “artist’s art history.”
The National Academy of Design (NAD) is the oldest honorary artistic society in the U.S. Founded in 1825 by Samuel Morse, Asher Durand, and Thomas Cole, the artists nominated to the Academy were required to offer one of their paintings – their “diploma work” – in addition to a “diploma portrait” of themselves. This pairing of portraiture with emblematic work has become a unique characteristic of the NAD and thus, of this thought-provoking exhibit.
Listen to the conversation here with Michelle Hargrave, Executive Director of the Figge Art Museum, about the self-reflection and community dialogue that she hopes this exhibit will encourage, the timeliness of it as For America explores both our differences and our commonalities as a society, and the rich variety of educational lectures and events compiled by the Figge to complement the show.
The Figge Art Museum has enacted meticulous COVID protocols with museum capacity, social distancing, and mandatory mask guidelines enforced, allowing visitors to see these important works safely.
Museum hours and admission pricing can be viewed here. Don’t miss the opportunity to see this blockbuster exhibit, made possible by the Figge’s Major Exhibition Endowment Fund.