"The Carnegie Institute, founded in 1896, was Andrew Carnegie's first great philanthropic endeavor and his grandest tribute to Pittsburgh, the city of his youth. It was originally planned that its Department of Fine Arts would over the years develop a representative collection of "contemporary American art by buying two works from each of the institute's annual international exhibitions beginning with the year of the founding nearly a century ago (the very first purchase was The Wreck by Winslow Homer). Carnegie apparently also saw no point in having more than a single work by any one artist." "Yet the collection has vastly exceeded this initial ambition in terms of both size and scope. Today it is called The Carnegie Museum of Art and owns some four hundred American paintings and sculptures dating from the late eighteenth century (the earliest works are Benjamin West's Venus Lamenting the Death of Adonis and Gilbert Stuart's portrait of Henry Nicols) to the end of World War II. Ranking among the most significant American art collections in the nation, it is especially strong in the work of Pennsylvania artists (including Cassatt, Eakins, Hicks, Kane, and Pippin), and of earlier twentieth-century modernists (for example, such masters as Bellows, Benton, Bruce, Davies, Dove, Feininger, Glackens, Graham, Hartley, Hassam, Henri, Hopper, Luks, Macdonald-Wright, Marsh, Nadelman, O'Keeffe, Prendergast, and Sloan)." "This comprehensive volume is the culmination of the enthusiastic rediscovery in our own time of the invaluable resource that this core collection represents. It catalogues the collection in its entirety, with an essay on each of some 400 works, a biography of each of nearly 200 artists, and complete reference material. It also includes a history of the institution and its collection of American art."--BOOK JACKET.
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