The Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art is exhibiting 70 paintings by John Singer Sargent, Winslow Homer, Thomas Eakins, Cecilia Beaux and Mary Cassatt (among others) that capture the American girl in the 19th-Century. The exhibit is "Angels and Tomboys," an evocative and bold collection of paintings by American artists that are by turns impish, angelic, sentimental--and all girl.
Hung in isolation, the paintings are certainly lovely--and generous with emotion--but as a collection they reveal the complexity and individuality of both artists and subjects as each engaged ideas of how girls and young women viewed--and were viewed--by the world around them. Standout paintings include Lilly Martin Spencer's mischievous tomboys and Abbott Handerson Thayer's pure angels.
"Angels & Tomboys: Girlhood in Nineteenth-Century American Art" was organized by the Newark Museum and is sponsored at Crystal Bridges until July 19th. If you haven't been to Crystal Bridges yet "Angels and Tomboys" is the perfect invitation. Bring your daughter, or a girl of any age. They will remember that you took them for a long time.
Directions: Go west on 62. Drive under the 540 underpass to J Street; turn right. Follow the signs for approximately 2 miles. The drive will take about 70 minutes from Berryville. A much improved gift store, a coffee bar, and a good restauraunt are on the premises. Exhibit admission: $5 for non-members; admission to the permanent collection is free.