San Diego museum visitors can still the works of art on display in the special exhibition “Behold America!” after it concludes this Sunday. That’s because the art is part of collections in three San Diego museums -- the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, the Timken Museum, and the San Diego Museum of Art. But the organization of the special exhibition helps to appreciate the development of American art by displaying the works together with similar works from the three different collections.
On January 31, exhibition curator Amy Galpin presented the exhibition to a contemporary art club to add to their appreciation of the works of art. The display at the Timken Museum of Art features several works that illustrate the maturation of still lifes and floral art as American art has responded to changing tastes. This display also shows how American artists have often pushed the edge of the boundaries of art with a glass case of custom baseball caps.
The “Behold America!” exhibition at the San Diego Museum of Art features portraits. Classic works by John Singleton Copely and Mary Cassatt leading edge portrait photography by Patricia Caufield and Cindy Sherman. This display also builds on the theme of the 2011 special exhibition of portraits by Britsh artist Sir Joshua Reynolds, highlighting ways that well composed portraits give insights into the subject’s personality.
Once again, a special exhibition has enhanced San Diego’s reputation as an art trendsetter. The positive reviews of portrait exhibitions influenced a marked trend at the January 2013 programs for photo l.a. and the Los Angeles Art Show. Art dealers have responded to collector interest by greatly increasing the selection of fine art portraits available to private collectors and museum curators and other museums have demonstrated much more interest in adding portraits to their permanent collections.