Due to unforeseen circumstances and expected inclement weather, the Watchhouse concert originally scheduled for Saturday, October 1, has been rescheduled to Friday, October 28. Tickets for the original date can be used for the rescheduled date; just present your ticket at the new event. For additional assistance, or to request a refund, contact help@ncartmuseum.org during gallery hours, Wednesday through Sunday, 10 am to 5 pm. Learn more on the event page.

Please note: West Building is now closed through October 7, 2022, to complete an exciting reinstallation of the People’s Collection. During this time enjoy free exhibitions on view in East Building, indoor and outdoor events and programming, and the 164-acre Museum Park. We’re excited to welcome visitors back to a new Museum experience starting October 8, 2022. Learn more about the opening weekend celebration.


The Museum’s American art collection encompasses paintings and sculpture from the late colonial period (mid-18th century) to the advent of modern art in the early 20th century, beginning with three imposing portraits by John Singleton Copley, the country’s first great artist, and concluding with a vibrant group of paintings by the leading American impressionists. In between the collection addresses many of the important themes and subjects of American art history, such as the celebration of wilderness and the search for a national identity; the conflicts over race, immigration, and social class; and the rapid evolution of society from Jefferson’s republic of farmers to Rockefeller’s industrial dynamo.

Winslow Homer, Weaning the Calf, 1875, oil on canvas, 24 × 38 in., Purchased with funds from the State of North Carolina


Chief among the works in the American collection is Copley’s magnificent portrait of Sir William Pepperrell (1746–1816) and His Family (1778), which heralded the artist’s arrival in London. It not only demonstrates Copley’s genius for transmuting paint into fabric, wood, and flesh; it also attests how quickly the colonial painter adapted his style to the grand manner of English portraiture.

The American collection is notably strong in landscapes by artists of the Hudson River school, the first great American art movement. Jasper Cropsey mythologizes the indomitable homestead family in Eagle Cliff, Franconia Notch, New Hampshire (1858), while Albert Bierstadt’s Bridal Veil Falls, Yosemite (circa 1871–73) presents a grand vision of still-untrammeled nature.


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