American art will receive some international attention thanks to an upcoming four-year collaboration between the Louvre in Paris, the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas, and the Terra Foundation for American Art in Chicago and Paris. The first exhibition, "New Frontier: Thomas Cole and the Birth of Landscape Painting in America" will open at the Louvre Jan. 14, 2012, and will subsequently travel, later in the year, to Crystal Bridges and the High Museum as "American Encounters: Thomas Cole and the Narrative Landscape."
All four institutions draw from their permanent collections in the installation, which features six paintings: four by Cole, one by his American contemporary Asher B. Durand, and one by seventeenth-century French painter Pierre-Antoine Patel the Younger, known to have inspired Cole during the latter's time in Paris. The curatorial staffs from each of the partnering organizations have worked in concert on the show, and will produce annual exhibitions focusing on American and European art as part of the ongoing initiative.
This is not the first collaboration between these institutions. The Terra Foundation and the Louvre have worked together on multiple occasions, including the first American art exhibition at the Louvre, held in 2006, that displayed Samuel F.B. Morse's Gallery of the Louvre (1831–33) in the very room featured in the painting. The High Museum and the Louvre also worked together on "Louvre Atlanta" from 2006 to 2009, which included a series of joint exhibitions and publications.
Thomas Cole, Landscape with Figures: A Scene from The Last of the Mohicans, 1826, oil on canvas, Terra Foundation.