Picturing the Americas: Landscape Painting from Tierra del Fuego to the Arctic

Immense prairies, forests, rivers, and mountain ranges reach from the southern tip of Argentina and Chile to Canada’s Arctic. For centuries, artists have been translating their experiences of these landscapes into iconic works of art. As new settler nations in the Americas began to gain and assert their independence in the 1800s and 1900s, painters helped to determine how the public understood these places. Inspired by the natural beauty they encountered, these artists forged original visions of the hemisphere, participating in early efforts to build national identities. Their works revealed environmental wonders and spoke to changing attitudes toward the land in an age of exploration and contentious colonization. By bringing together landscape paintings from across the hemisphere, Picturing the Americas invites us to examine how we shape and are shaped by the environments we inhabit.