American Storybook: The Imaginary Travelogue of Thomas Chambers

Dates: July 21, 2018 – January 6, 2019
Location: Special Exhibition South
Free with general admission

This exhibition features twenty-two of the singularly idiosyncratic landscapes produced by Thomas Chambers, one of the earliest American artists to specialize in the genre of landscape painting for commercial production. As the first artist working in America to make landscape painting accessible to a wider audience and broader socioeconomic class, Chambers tapped into the fascination and interest in travel and exploration.

American Storybook explores various themes and ideas surrounding the American landscape, such as rural and urban development, exploration of the frontier and its surrounding waterways, the desire and/or need to document topography and geography, and the economics and demand for such pictures. Who were the early audiences for these pictures? Were they the same collectors who soon clamored for the work produced by the artists of the Hudson River School? What influence, if any, did Chambers have on the artists of the Hudson River School?

The exhibition is the second in a series of collaborations and collection exchanges between the Speed Art Museum and the Eskenazi Museum at IU. These collaborative exchanges also serve to further each museum’s reach in the Kentuckiana region, and expand our audiences in each other’s backyards.

Additional support for the exhibition is provided by
A. Cary Brown and Steven E. Epstein
Paul and Deborah Chellgren
Elizabeth W. Davis
Corporate support for the Speed Art Museum’s exhibition season is provided by