May 2,  2013

MAY 24, 2013

Above: Her Eyes Were Made to Worship. Harrison Fisher, 1909

Friday, May 24, the NMAI is debuting a brand new exhibition, The American Muse, which will be on display through Fall, 2013. The exhibition presents an homage to American women of the late 19th and early 20th centures and to the illustrators who accurately portrayed their unique and quintessentially American beauty and character. Women of this era in America had greater opportunities in sports, higher education, roles in business, social movements, and politics than those of previous generations in the United States and abroad.

American Illustrators highlighted are:

Harrison Fisher
Charles Dana Gibson
McClelland Barclay
Philip Boileau
Howard Chandler Christy
James Montgomery Flagg
Henry Hutt
Walter Granville Smith
Paul Stahr
Albert Beck Wenzell

They each created icons of the American women of their day, and in so doing created a lasting archetype. The public usually gave these lovely images a nickname tied to their respective illustrator, such as The Christy Girl, The Fisher Girl, The Gibson Girl, etc. The nickname became a perpetual part of that particular illustrator's oeuvre and artistic realm. 

Above: Central Park: The Promenade. Walter Granville Smith, 1897

The illustrators works were published in single artist books with titles such as College Girls (1896), The Social Ladder (1897), American Beauties (1904), The Gibson Book (1907), Bachelor Belles (1908), and Liberty Belles (1911),  which proved to be popular and coveted publications. In magazines of the day, such as Cosmopolitan, Ladies Home Journal, Life, Red Cross, Success, The Saturday Evening Post, Truth, and Harper's, the artworks both shaped and reflected American society and its notions of what an attractive American woman should look and act like. In the process, the illustrators captured her style, poise, fasion sense, and inherent beauty, and unknowingly created a collection of natural American Muses.


(l) Woman w/Long Stemmed Rose. Philip Boileau, 1900. (r) At The Piano. Albert Beck Wenzell, 1890



Friday, May 24, marks the beginning of the NMAI's Summer 2013 General Admissions Season. This year as usual the Museum will be open for General Admissions from 11am to 5pm, Thursday through Sunday. Please note that for the first time ever, we will also be open on Thursdays from 11am to 5pm all season.



Venetian Lamplighters, 1922, and Morning, 1921, both by Maxfield Parrish

In addition to the new American Muse exhibition, the NMAI will continue to showcase works from the very popular Maxfield Parrish: The Retrospective and Howard Pyle and His Brandywine Students exhibitions, as well as highlights from the Museum's American Imagist collection.


An Unwelcome Toast. Howard Pyle, 1895


Daniel Boone - The Home Seeker:Cumberland Valley. N.C. Wyeth, c. 1940



Follow Us





For Reservations:

Eric Brocklehurst
National Museum of American Illustration
492 Bellevue Avenue, Newport, RI 02840
T: 401-851-8949 ext. 18, F: 401-851-8974 


Open for General Admissions Fridays year round, 11am to 5pm, with a guided tour at 3pm. Beginning Friday, May 24 (Memorial Day weekend) the NMAI will be open Thursday though Sunday, 11am to 5pm for general admissions. Open all other times for group tours by advance reservation.



Adults: $18; Seniors (60+) & Military: $16; Students: $12; Children ages 5 to 12: $8. Children ages 5 to 12 are permitted only if they are vouchsafed by parents or guardians as being 'well-behaved.'




The National Museum of American Illustration is a nonprofit, independent, educational and aesthetic organization. It is located in Newport, RI, on Bellevue Avenue at Vernon Court (1898), a Carrére and Hastings designed Beaux-Arts adaptation of an 18th century French chateau. It is the first national museum devoted exclusively to American illustration art. Illustration consists of original artwork created to be reproduced in books, magazines, newspapers, and advertisements. 'Golden Age' paintings by such luminaries as Norman Rockwell, Maxfield Parrish, NC Wyeth, JC Leyendecker, and 150 others are displayed in 'Gilded Age' architecture, creating a unique union of architecture and art - a national treasure. The Museum is administered by the American Civilization Foundation, a nonprofit organization with the goal to present the best possible venue for appreciating the greatest collection of illustration art - the most American of American art.


Go to our website...


COPYRIGHT NOTICE: This email message and its contents are copyrighted and are our proprietary products. Any unauthorized use, reproduction, or transfer of this message or its contents, in any medium, is strictly prohibited.  

¬©  2013 National Museum of American Illustration.