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Past exhibition

6 February – 28 April 2013

Admission free
Location: Room 1

Step into a world of wild natural phenomena with the landscape oil sketches of celebrated American landscape painter, Frederic Church.

‘Through American Eyes: Frederic Church and the Landscape Oil Sketch’ displays a distinctive aspect of the work of Frederic Edwin Church (1826–1900), his landscape oil sketches.

Church was a leading member of the Hudson River School of landscape painters, active in the mid-19th century, and a key American exponent of the oil sketch which he executed both at home and on his extensive travels to Niagara Falls, Labrador, Jamaica, Mexico and the Middle East.

Oil sketches have become objects of appreciation and study in their own right. Among students of American art, Church’s sketches in particular are admired for their freshness and originality.

This exhibition brings together around 25 oil sketches. Works are drawn from the incomparable collections of the Cooper-Hewitt Museum, New York, and Olana, Church’s picturesque estate along the Hudson River, now a New York State Historic Site.

They are joined in the exhibition by a single, monumental painting, 'Niagara Falls, from the American Side' (1867), showing the relationship between sketch and finished masterpiece. 

The exhibition will travel to the Scottish National Gallery, Edinburgh (11 May – 8 September 2013).

This exhibition is organised by the National Gallery in partnership with and through major support from the Terra Foundation for American Art. Find out more about the collaboration

Additional support comes from The Olana Partnership and generous loans from Olana and Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, Smithsonian Institution.