The Outsider's Gaze

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An accompanying exhibition to Mingled Visions, The Outsider’s
Gaze
, brings together ten European American artists working
in the mid-19th and early 20th centuries. Their paintings
and sculpture explore the subject of Native Americans
from different levels of authenticity. Their depictions
range from overly staged and romanticized scenes, to
caricatures. A few of the artists had direct contact with
Native Americans, in some cases even living with tribes,
and tried to remain true to individual and tribal identity.
Others painted derivative scenes, where the figures and
clothing were generic and more symbolic. Though
some of the artworks stereotype Native Americans
as “noble savage,” many of the artists in this exhibition
were genuinely concerned about the fate of Native
American culture as a result of discriminatory
federal policies and western expansion. Works
in the exhibition include Indian Encampment by
Ralph Blakelock, on loan from the
Philadelphia Museum of Art, and Taos Family,
N.D. by Joseph Sharp, on loan from the Erie
Art Museum.

 

Launched in 2017 with the goal of generating nationwide
collection-sharing networks, the Art Bridges + Terra
Foundation Initiative is a joint grant program of Art
Bridges and the Terra Foundation for American Art.
This initiative supports multi-year, multi-institutional
partnerships, pairing a large metropolitan museum with
smaller museums that traditionally lack the opportunity
or resources to work together. The purpose of these
partnerships is to engage local communities with
outstanding works of American art. Partners collaborate
by sharing collections and resources to create a series
of content-rich exhibitions of art combined with in-depth
educational and interpretive materials to reach a broad
spectrum of audience interests. In addition, the initiative
fosters professional development and exchanges
among partners.

For Pennsylvania, the Philadelphia Museum of
Art serves as the catalyst museum partnering with a
consortium of eight museums across the Commonwealth.
The Westmoreland was invited to be a part of this
initiative in 2017. The other partners are Allentown Art
Museum, The Demuth Museum, Erie Art Museum, James
A. Michener Art Museum, Palmer Art Museum, Reading
Public Museum, and The Trout Gallery. Coming together
as a consortium offers the exceptional opportunity to
share collections, exhibitions, ideas and professional
expertise with our audiences.

The Westmoreland’s first focus exhibition to include
loans from the partnership is The Outsider’s Gaze. On
loan from the Philadelphia Museum of Art are Penn’s
Treaty with the Indians by Edward Hicks (above) as well
as the previously mentioned Indian Encampment by
Ralph Blakelock.

We are excited to bring these artworks to our community!

 

The Outsider’s Gaze is one in a series of
American art exhibitions created through a multi-year,
multi-institutional partnership formed by the Philadelphia
Museum of Art as part of the Art Bridges + Terra Foundation
Initiative.

Support for the exhibition has been provided by the Hillman
Exhibition Fund of The Westmoreland Museum of American Art.
This project was completed in partnership with the Rivers of
Steel Heritage Area. Funding was provided in part by a grant
from the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and
Natural Resources, Bureau of Recreation and Conservation,
Environmental Stewardship Fund, administered by the Rivers
of Steel Heritage Corp.