“America the Beautiful: Works on Paper from The Mint Museum” Opens July 2 at Mint Museum Uptown

Exhibition presents a comprehensive look at American art, culture, and diversity

Paper is a delicate, yet enduring medium – ­­it can be destroyed in an instant, or with great care, can be preserved for centuries. Throughout history, this fragile medium has been a great repository for American works of art. The new exhibition America the Beautiful: Works on Paper from The Mint Museum has assembled an amazing breadth of works on paper, encompassing over 150 years of America’s illustrious history. Because works on paper are extremely light-sensitive and can only be on view for brief periods of time, the Mint is particularly excited to share with its visitors this exhibition of rarely seen works. The exhibition extends a rare and welcome chance to view works from some of America’s finest and most important artists.

America the Beautiful, on view July 2 through October 4 at Mint Museum Uptown at Levine Center for the Arts, 500 South Tryon Street in Charlotte, will feature nearly 200 works on paper, including various styles of prints, drawings, watercolors, pastels, and more. From quick on-site sketches and highly finished academic drawings to expressionistic portraits and abstracted landscapes, these works truly embody the extensiveness of the museum’s collection of American art. While some of the objects in the exhibition have recently been on view in the museum’s permanent collection galleries, many others have not been seen for several years, or have only just entered the collection.

“I am thrilled to have the opportunity to present this important part of our American collection in such a holistic manner,” said exhibition curator Dr. Jonathan Stuhlman. “I am certain that our visitors will enjoy exploring these diverse, engaging works of art as much as I did in the process of organizing the show. The range of media subject matter is so broad that there truly is something for everyone.”

America the Beautiful is a visual embodiment of one of America’s most prevailing qualities, its diversity. While all works of art are from the American art collection, many of the artists on display have far-reaching roots, such as Diego Rivera who is Latin American, Kurt Seligmann who is Swiss-American, and Clare Leighton, who is British-American. The exhibition also displays works by artists with local and regional connections, such as Elliot Daingerfield and Will Henry Stevens. America the Beautiful’s fusion of art and culture is reflected not just in the artists themselves, but in the diversity of their work. These works document the widespread changes that occurred in American art over the course of nearly 150 years. Highlights from the exhibition include numerous foreign scenes depicting subjects in France, Italy, England, and beyond.

The museum’s commitment to building its collection of works by African American artists is evident in the inclusion of such artists as Romare Bearden, Henry Ossawa Tanner, Hale Woodruff, Loïs Mailou Jones, and Elizabeth Catlett. Catlett’s work will not only be on view at the Mint this summer, but also at a neighboring museum in the Levine Center for the Arts, the Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture, where Catlett’s life and work will be commemorated in an exhibition called Charlotte Collects Elizabeth Catlett: A Centennial Celebration on view July 18 through December 31. The Mint has loaned five of its Catlett prints to the Gantt’s exhibition.

As with prior special exhibitions at the Mint, visitors must pay special exhibition admission fees on top of general museum admission. Adults pay $24; college students and seniors $18; children 5-17 $6; children under 5 and museum members are FREE. During Wednesday evenings from 5-9 p.m. when general admission to the museum is free, special exhibition fees are $12 adults or $9 for college students and seniors, and admission is free to everyone under 18. (Special exhibition admission also includes the concurrent Mint-organized exhibition Body Embellishment, which remains on view through September 6.)

Special opening promotion for Charlotte Knights fans

The opening of America the Beautiful: Works on Paper from The Mint Museum coincides with another all-American pastime: Home games for the Charlotte Knights AAA baseball team at nearby BB&T Ballpark, just around the corner from Mint Museum Uptown. Fans headed to the July 2 and July 3 Knights games can show their game tickets at the Mint’s Guest Services desk to receive a $2 discount on special exhibition admission during the opening days, through Sunday July 5. And all museum visitors on July 2 and 3 can enter a drawing for two FREE sets of two tickets to the sold-out July 4 USA vs. Cuba game, which will be followed by the WBT Skyshow fireworks at BB&T Ballpark (note: The Mint Museum will be closed on July 4).

Other special exhibition programming includes:

  • Taste of the Mint: America the Beautiful . Two small plate and beverage pairings complemented with a dessert at Halcyon, Flavors from the Earth restaurant and followed by an exhibition tour. 4-6 p.m. July 15; $40 or $30 for museum members. Registration available at mintmuseum.org/happenings.
  • Sunday Fun Day: America the Beautiful . Family-friendly activities and hands-on art projects. $6 for adults and FREE for kids under 18. Special exhibition admission fees will be waived. 1-4 p.m. July 19.

This exhibition is organized by The Mint Museum, and WTVI is the exhibition media partner. All members of the media are invited to visit the exhibition during opening week and one-on-one interviews are available with Dr. Stuhlman. Email leigh.dyer@mintmuseum.org or call 704.337.2009 to RSVP.

.Above image: Will Henry Stevens (American, 1881-1949). Untitled, 1944, pastel on paper. Gift of the Janet Stevens McDowell Trust. 2006.12.5. Collection of The Mint Museum, Charlotte, North Carolina. © Mint Museum of Art, Inc.