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Triumph of Realism

DATES October 3, 1967 through November 19, 1967
ORGANIZING DEPARTMENT American Art
  • October 2, 1967 On October 3, 1967, the first major exhibition of the season at The Brooklyn Museum opens to the public. Entitled THE TRIUMPH OF REALISM, the exhibit consists of 98 outstanding paintings on loan from European and American museums. Twenty-seven works from Germany have never been seen in this country before.

    Among the American artists, Whistler is represented by his “Self Portrait" and “Portrait of Theodore Duret"; Sargent by “Madame X”; Eakins by “Max Schmidt in a Single Scull”, “Portrait of Letitia Bacon”, “Mending the Net”; and Homer by “Eight Bells”, “Snap the Whip”, “The Herring Net” and “Winter Coast.” There are other notable pictures by Chase, Duveneck, Sloan and Bellows.

    The Triumph of Realism illustrates the chain of relationships that led to the establishment of an international school of 19th century realistic painting. This movement started with Courbet and his influence on the German 19th century painters, and in turn, their influence on such Americans as Chase, Duveneck, and Henri. The effect of the teacher on the student is shown by several juxtapositions in the exhibition which also makes clear that the American artist, whether influenced by the German, Wilhelm Leibl, as in the case of Duveneck, or by Courbet and Manet, as in the case of Homer, has contributed an element uniquely his own.

    Today, it is these realists who have made the most lasting mark in American 19th century painting, despite being almost completely eclipsed in popularity by Impressionism.

    Following the close of the exhibition at The Brooklyn Museum on November 19, it will be seen at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond, from December 11, 1967 to January 4, 1968; and at the California Palace of the Legion of Honor, San Francisco, from February 17 to March 31, 1968.

    Brooklyn Museum Archives. Records of the Department of Public Information. Press releases, 1953 - 1970. 1967, 010
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