Feature Articles

January 2011

Reynolda House Museum of American Art in Winston-Salem, NC, Offers Exhibit Focused on Home Life in Art

Reynolda House Museum of American Art in Winston-Salem, NC, is presenting the exhibit, Domestic Bliss: Art at Home in Britain and America, 1780–1840, on view in the West Bedroom Gallery of the historic house through May 20, 2012.

Featuring 15 works from the collections of Reynolda House and Wake Forest University, the exhibition considers important trends in late 18th-century British and American painting: the importance of home life as an artistic theme, and the display of portraiture, genre, and landscape paintings and prints in the home. By focusing on these genres, the exhibition will explore two parallel themes. First and foremost is the modeling of gender roles and family dynamics in works of art. The 18th century witnessed the birth of the family as the primary unit for social organization and identity, and theorists such as Jean-Jacques Rousseau enumerated the benefits of motherhood and the virtues of childhood.

Second, by placing these works in a bedroom gallery, the exhibition asks visitors to consider the experience of living with objects and thinking about the ways that objects and images relate to each other. Objects from the Museum’s toy collection will be incorporated in the exhibition, both as they relate to the depiction of toys in the works, such as dolls and tea sets, as well as the standard practice of painting portraits or modeling figures from dolls.

Curated by Morna O’Neill, assistant professor of art at Wake Forest University, with help from her students, this exhibition will include several works of art that are rarely exhibited at the Museum.

Reynolda House Museum of American Art is one of the nation’s premier American art museums, with masterpieces by Mary Cassatt, Frederic Church, Jacob Lawrence, Georgia O’Keefe and Gilbert Stuart among its permanent collection.  Affiliated with Wake Forest University, Reynolda House features changing exhibitions, concerts, lectures, classes, film screenings, and other events. The museum is located in Winston-Salem in the historic 1917 estate of Katharine Smith Reynolds and her husband, Richard Joshua Reynolds, founder of the R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company. Reynolda House and adjacent Reynolda Gardens and Reynolda Village feature a spectacular public garden, dining, shopping and walking trails.

For further information check our NC Institutional Gallery listings, call the Museum at 336.758.5150 or visit (reynoldahouse.org).

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