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Opening reception takes place on July 29, 2017, from 5 to 7 p.m. Admission is free.

From his mountaintop home in Hardy County, West Virginia, painter Robert Singleton has a splendid panoramic view of the surrounding countryside in one of the state’s most picturesque regions. For nearly 40 years, Singleton, a “West Virginian by choice” has sought privacy and uninterrupted time to work and be introspective, and the space to breathe freely and search for life’s answers in this remote location.

Now approaching his 80th birthday, his journey through the years has followed a fascinating path that saw him go from an esteemed and celebrated position in the art world with numerous awards and museum shows to a deliberate retreat into solitude in which he bid farewell to the fame and acceptance he once sought.

Although he continued to work as a painter, his focus turned more to nurturing human relationships, especially as they relate to end-of-life experiences. Singleton embraced the work and personal friendship of Dr. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, whose influential book On Death and Dying helped strengthen the modern hospice movement, and he provided compassionate care for a number of family members and friends during their last days, especially those who were victims of the AIDS epidemic. “I personally feel the single beneficial motivation of life centers upon the compassion of the connections we share with our fellow humans,” he said.

While Singleton’s attention was occupied for many years by the demands of caregiving, the urge to get back to his artwork eventually resurfaced. “In the summer of 2012, after more than a 10-year hiatus from painting, I rediscovered the pure joy of the creative emergence,” and he immersed himself in developing new work. He not only returned to his studio but began an active exhibition schedule, including a 30-year retrospective at the
Landes Art Center in Petersburg, West Virginia, in 2015 and a recent gallery showing in Lewisburg, West Virginia.

The Huntington Museum of Art will host an innovative showing of Singleton’s work in an exhibition that will feature several large-scale paintings accompanied by dynamic lighting in a darkened environment, along with original music composed by German musician Dan Morro.

Singleton said the exhibition will capitalize on the half-century of his experiences as an artist. “I seek a means of involving all human beings, not as viewers, but as participants in the ageless impact of the creative emergence.” He hopes the installation will be “a means of uncovering the core of our intuitive understanding and cumulative experience ingrained and transmitted through generations since the dawn of time… (serving
to) document my search for our shared universal awareness.”

Click here to learn more about the artists

Presented with support from The Isabelle Gwynn and Robert Daine Exhibition Endowment.

This program is being presented with financial assistance from the West Virginia Division of Culture and History and the National Endowment for the Arts, with approval from the West Virginia Commission on the Arts.

For the Joy of Light: Paintings by Robert Singleton & Soundscapes by Dan Morro

New York, New York!

August 5 - October 29, 2017

“There is no place like it, no place with an atom of its glory, pride and exultancy;” so wrote Walt Whitman in describing New York City, one of the most diverse and distinctive places on Earth. Artists have found a great deal of inspiration within the boundaries of this whirring metropolis, moved by the energy of the crowds, the towering architecture, and the sounds, sights and smells that define it as a city without peers.

The Huntington Museum of Art has a number of works in its collection that depict The Empire City, including paintings, prints, photographs and glass, and they will be featured in New York, New York! Several of the artworks focus upon recognizable landmarks in the city, including Richard Haas’ etching that depicts the Flatiron Building, views of the Brooklyn Bridge by Robert Indiana and William Walcot, and two Pilgrim Glass vases that include images of the Statue of Liberty and the Haupt Conservatory at the New York Botanical Garden.

Some artists chose more general views, including Reginald Marsh’s watercolor titled Skyline, Everett Shinn’s pastel Snow Flurries, New York Bay, Risaburo Kimura’s look at the towering cityscape in his print New York, and Childe Hassam’s etching of a street scene, The Billboards, New York. The glistening lights of the city are featured in Berenice Abbott’s photograph New York at Night, and in Yvonne Jacquette’s Motion Picture, Times Square.

A newly acquired painting by Parkersburg, West Virginia, native Anne Rector, 3rd Avenue, New York City, shows a bustling street scene. The wide range of work on display mirrors the dynamism of the city itself, which can change, as the artist John Sloan once remarked, “before the paint on (your canvases) is dry.”

Presented with support from The Isabelle Gwynn and Robert Daine Exhibition Endowment.

This program is being presented with financial assistance from the West Virginia Division of Culture and History and the National Endowment for the Arts, with approval from the West Virginia Commission on the Arts.

New York, New York!

Opening reception takes place on Saturday, August 12, 2017, from 5 to 7 p.m. Admission is free. This exhibit will be accompanied by a catalog, which will be available for purchase from the Museum Shop.

In the latter months of 1967, a shipment of precious cargo arrived at the Huntington Museum of Art. Included in the delivery were works by a number of the most important artists who were active in late 19th and early 20th century America, along with many stellar examples by European artists. Three watercolors by Andrew Wyeth, two oil paintings by Childe Hassam (including an example from his renowned “flag” painting series), paintings or prints by all of the members of the group known as “The Eight,” etchings by Rembrandt and Whistler, a watercolor by Winslow Homer, as well as a host of equally impressive works of art were included in the shipment. They were all given to the museum by Mrs. Ruth Woods Dayton, a resident of Lewisburg, West Virginia, and were together known as The Daywood Collection. The gift immediately elevated the status of the collection of the museum to one of national renown.

The receipt of the Dayton gift was part of an amazing sequence of events that occurred in the mid-1960s that would forever alter the destiny of the museum. The catalyst for all the good fortune was a grant of $1 million from the Doherty Foundation, a charitable organization whose leadership had ties to Huntington, for the purpose of expanding the museum’s facility. A second stroke of welcome news came when the famed architect Walter Gropius agreed to design the addition to the museum in partnership with his firm, The Architects’ Collaborative.

Mrs. Dayton and her husband, Arthur, had entered the collecting world in 1916 when they received a gift of the painting Munich Landscape, by Ross Sterling Turner, as a wedding present. That would be the beginning of a collection that would eventually number more than 200 works of art, including more than 80 paintings. They developed close relationships with some of the leading commercial galleries of the period, especially New York’s Macbeth Gallery, and acquired works by many prominent artists. A number of pieces were acquired after being seen at major exhibitions of the day, including the Carnegie International in Pittsburgh, a city that Arthur Dayton visited often in his work as an attorney. Collecting art was a passion for the Daytons, and they enjoyed doing research on the objects and writing to artists to find out more about their newest finds. Many of the works are modest in size, deliberately chosen to fit comfortably in their Charleston, West Virginia, residence.

Following Mr. Dayton’s untimely death in 1948, Ruth Dayton moved to Lewisburg and in 1951 opened a small facility called The Daywood Gallery as a memorial to her husband (the name Daywood is a combination of the couple’s family surnames, Dayton and Woods). Between 1951 and 1966, Mrs. Dayton continued to add to the collection through donations and purchases. The collection attracted the attention of a number of supporters of the Huntington Museum of Art in the early 1960s and several overtures were made to Mrs. Dayton to make a gift of her collection to the institution, but these pleas went unheeded because of the inadequate size of the existing facility. Following the Doherty Foundation grant and the promise of a sparkling new, Gropius-designed exhibition space and accompanying storage areas, Mrs. Dayton at long last agreed to give her collection to the Huntington Museum of Art. It was her wish that the collection that she and her husband had been so carefully assembled would remain in the state and be made available to the people of West Virginia, a place the Daytons had called home for their entire lives. An agreement was drawn up and signed by both parties in December, 1966, and the majority of the works were transferred to Huntington later in 1967 (a few objects remained in Mrs. Dayton’s home during the last years of her life and were later sent to the Huntington Galleries after her death in 1978).

This exhibit is presented by City National Bank, with support from The Isabelle Gwynn and Robert Daine Exhibition Endowment.

Additional support comes from The Katherine and Herman Pugh Exhibitions Endowment.

This program is being presented with financial assistance from the West Virginia Division of Culture and History and the National Endowment for the Arts, with approval from the West Virginia Commission on the Arts.

The Art of Patronage: 50th Anniversary of The Daywood Gift Presented by City National Bank

A high tea opening reception for this exhibit takes place on Sunday, September 17, 2017, from 2 to 4 p.m. Admission to the opening reception is free.

Some of the most beloved holdings of the Huntington Museum of Art are found in the collection of British portraits and silver.

The silver holds a special place in the history of the museum, as most of it was collected by museum founder Herbert Fitzpatrick and it was showcased as a regular feature after the museum opened its doors in 1952. It includes works by many of the finest British silversmiths of the Georgian period, including Paul Storr, Paul de Lamerie and Hester Bateman. Most of the portraits were added in the 1950s when George Bagby donated a group of works by some of the leading portrait artists who were active in 18th century Great Britain.

The 18th century was a time that saw expanding empires and trade along with great wealth among the privileged class in Great Britain. To showcase this wealth the upper classes increasingly called upon the nation’s silversmiths to fashion fine objects that could be conspicuously displayed in their lavish homes. These items reflected the stylistic fashions of the day and were used in a culture where eating and drinking became the ultimate pleasures and fostered elaborate dinner rituals that required a multitude of specialized utensils. Dinners could sometimes last 4 to 5 hours and were often seen as the major activity of the day. Portraiture served as yet another means of displaying wealth. Painters such as Joshua Reynolds, Henry Raeburn, and George Romney were kept busy creating likenesses of the social elite. No stately home was complete without a collection of portraits to adorn the walls, since these paintings provided a visual reminder of the family heritage that was so keenly prized by the upper class.

In addition to the silver that is part of the museum collection, a special group of silver vinaigrettes from the collection of Ashland native Ronald Polan will be a featured part of the exhibition. Vinaigrettes were small containers that were used to hold aromatic substances that were often dissolved in vinegar. Although used by both sexes in the earliest days, by the late 18th century they became an accessory carried almost exclusively by women. Their function was to mask offensive odors or to take advantage of the restorative powers of the substances that were carried in the container. Their appeal extended into the early 19th century, but by 1840 they had faded in terms of popularity.

The items in this exhibition present a link to an era when the fine and decorative arts served the needs of the wealthy through objects that were both rare and splendid. Though more than two centuries have passed since they were created, they still retain the stunning beauty that made them so desirable to the owners who commissioned them.

This exhibit sponsored by

Alex Franklin

S.J. Shrubsole

This exhibit supported by

Adam Booth, In Memory of Jeanne Kaplan Dunn

Dr. Peter and Clare Chirico, In Memory of Raffaella Del Guerico

Jean Eglinton and Steven Snyder, In Memory of Stuart H. Snyder

Oliver and Gaye Fearing, In Memory of Janet Ensign Bromley

Dennis and Lindsay Lee, In Memory of Laura Weber

Iris K. Malcom, In Memory of Arthur Malcom

Tamara S. Nimmo, In Memory of Edith and Christine Nimmo

Sally B. Oxley

Betsy H. Wilson, In Memory of Elizabeth Mitchell

Additional support from The Isabelle Gwynn and Robert Daine Exhibition Endowment.

This program is presented with financial assistance from the West Virginia Division of Culture and History, and the National Endowment for the Arts, with approval from the West Virginia Commission on the Arts.

Domestic Delight: British Silver, Portraits and Decorative Arts