NEW BRITAIN MUSEUM OF AMERICAN ART

Samuel F.B. Morse’s “Gallery of the Louvre” & the Art of Invention

June 17, 2017–October 15, 2017

Samuel F.B. Morse, Gallery of the Louvre, 1831-33, Oil on canvas, 73 3/4 x 108 inches, Chicago, Terra Foundation for American Art

The New Britain Museum of American Art is pleased to present Samuel F.B. Morse’s “Gallery of the Louvre” and the Art of Invention this June in the Don and Virginia Davis Gallery. The exhibition showcases Samuel F.B. Morse’s monumental painting Gallery of the Louvre (1831–1833), on loan from the Terra Foundation for American Art, and follows the history of its extensive conservation treatment in 2010 as well as two years of scholarly investigation.

Known today primarily for his role in the development of the electromagnetic telegraph and his namesake code, Samuel F.B. Morse also had a successful painting career. Created in Paris and New York, Gallery of the Louvre was Morse’s masterwork and the result of his studies in Europe. Peter John Brownlee, associate curator at the Terra Foundation, has described that “Morse’s ’gallery picture,’ a form first popularized in the seventeenth century, is the only major example of such in the history of American art. For this canvas, Morse selected masterpieces from the Musée du Louvre’s collection and imaginatively ’reinstalled’ them in one of the museum’s grandest spaces, the Salon Carré.” The exhibition is accompanied by a scholarly catalogue, published by the Terra Foundation and distributed by Yale University Press.