Over a remarkably short career that lasted just a decade due to his untimely death at age thirty, Richard Caton Woodville (1825-1855) created an small but important body of work that engaged with the major issues dominating American society in the years leading up to the Civil War. Themes touched on by Woodville’s paintings include: the politics of manifest destiny as played out in the Mexican War; the transformative effects of new technologies, including the railroad and the telegraph; and the rise of an ambitious class of visionary citizens intent on putting the ideals of democracy into practice.
New Eyes on America features approximately four dozen paintings and works on paper by Woodville and his contemporaries, offering a fascinating window onto this dynamic, transformative moment in our country’s history as it sought to define itself on the world’s stage. Woodville’s rare, skillfully-rendered canvases will appeal to artists and history buffs alike. This exhibition will be accompanied by a fully illustrated scholarly catalogue.
This is the first exhibition of the artist’s work in forty-five years. Mint Museum Randolph is the only venue outside of the organizing institution in Woodville’s hometown of Baltimore to host it.
Organized by The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore, with generous grant support from the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services.