Wild Spaces, Open Seasons: Hunting and Fishing in American Art is the first major exhibition to explore the multifaceted meanings of such outdoor subjects in both painting and sculpture from the early nineteenth century to World War II. These aesthetically rich and culturally important works play an influential role in the history of American art.
American artists’ fascination with depicting hunting and fishing was often informed by their own experiences as practitioners and was more than merely a way of commemorating outdoor traditions. Approximately 60 paintings and sculptures—some of the finest examples of American art—illuminate changing ideas about place, national identity, community, wildlife, and the environment, offering compelling insights into socioeconomic issues and cultural concerns. Capturing a communion with nature that was becoming increasingly scarce, many artists alluded to the country’s burgeoning industrialization and urbanization.
This exhibition encompasses a wide variety of portraits, landscapes, still lifes, and genre scenes, including iconic works by Thomas Cole, Thomas Eakins, Winslow Homer, and Augustus Saint-Gaudens, as well as key pictures by specialists in the category such as Charles Deas, Alfred Jacob Miller, William T. Ranney, and Arthur Fitzwilliam Tait. In addition, it sheds new light on modernist interpretations of these subjects by George Bellows and Marsden Hartley, among others.
Wild Spaces, Open Seasons: Hunting and Fishing in American Art has been organized by the Amon Carter Museum of American Art, Dixon Gallery and Gardens, Joslyn Art Museum, and Shelburne Museum. This exhibition is supported by an indemnity from the Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities. The local presentation is supported by BNSF Railway Foundation, Christie’s, Collectors Covey, Fort Worth Promotion and Development Fund, Joan and Walker Friedman, Karen and Tim Hixon, Julie and Scott Kleberg, Kleinheinz Family Foundation for the Arts and Education, Luther King Capital Management, Beth and Ron Parrish, Martha M. and J. Kent Sweezey, and Wells Fargo.
Pick up and take home a guide that helps you explore the exhibition as if you are out on expedition. Understand more about the animals, artists, and outdoor pursuits of America through art since the nineteenth century.
Large print labels are available for use in the exhibition.
Free docent-guided tours of this exhibition take place Thursday through Sunday at 3 p.m. and begin at the exhibition entrance on the second floor. No reservations are required.
Visit the museum’s Library to learn more about the artists in the exhibition. The Library offers public hours on Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m. and on Thursdays from 11 a.m. until 7 p.m.