- On View
- NOW at the Corcoran
- Past Exhibitions
- David Levinthal: War Games
- NOW at the Corcoran – Ellen Harvey: The Alien’s Guide to the Ruins of Washington, D.C.
- WAR/PHOTOGRAPHY: Images of Armed Conflict and Its Aftermath
- American Bronzes from the Corcoran Gallery of Art
- How Is the World? Recent Acquisitions of Contemporary Photography
- NEXT at the Corcoran 2013
- Shooting Stars: Publicity Stills from Early Hollywood and Portraits by Andy Warhol
- Annual Print Department Exhibition
- Ill Street Blues
- Pump Me Up: D.C. Subculture of the 1980s
- From the Collection: Victor Burgin
- Bezalel on Tour
- Taryn Simon: A Living Man Declared Dead and Other Chapters I-XVIII
- NOW at the Corcoran – Enoc Perez: Utopia
- Ivan Sigal: White Road
- On the Campaign Trail
- James Bridle: A Quiet Disposition
- Programs & Events
- Educators & Students
- Youth & Family
- Support & Membership
- About the Corcoran
The American Evolution: A History through Art
March 1, 2008–July 27, 2008
March 1, 2008–July 27, 2008
The American Evolution: A History through Art offered a fresh look at the Corcoran’s time-honored collection of American art. The display of nearly 200 objects in a wide range of media dating from the colonial era to the present, the exhibition focused on five overarching themes that have shaped American culture: Money, Land, Politics, Cultural Exchange, and The Modern World. These themes are fundamental to the way the United States has developed, and to the stories we tell about ourselves.
The term “evolution” suggests change over time. Embracing the idea that the United States is a dynamic nation in a constant state of re-definition, the exhibition nevertheless revealed remarkable continuities in artistic production from the 18th to the 21st century. From Gilbert Stuart’s stately c. 1803 portrait of George Washington to Andy Warhol’s irreverent 1973 likeness of the Chinese leader Mao Zedong, and from Frederic Edwin Church’s dramatic 1857 view from the brink of Niagara Falls to Richard Diebenkorn’s abstract 1975 rendering of the suburban expanses of Ocean Park, California, The American Evolution explored some of the ways that American life and art have evolved over two and a half centuries.
The exhibition was organized by the Corcoran Gallery of Art and curated by Emily D. Shapiro, assistant curator of American art, and Sarah Newman, assistant curator of contemporary art. To read more about the curators, please click here.
Click here and learn more about The American Evolution: A History through Art by visiting the exhibition micro-site.
The American Evolution is sponsored by MasterCard and the Sotheby’s MasterCard. Additional support is provided by the National Endowment for the Arts.