On the hunt at the Amon Carter

Josefa Westerman

Josefa Westerman Exhibitions

A Tight Fix—Bear Hunting, Early Winter [The Life of a Hunter: A Tight Fix] by Arthur Fitzwilliam Tait, 1856. Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, Arkansas; photograh courtesy of Amon Carter Museum of American Art.

On October 7, the Amon Carter Museum of Ameri­can Art in Fort Worth, Texas, welcomes a traveling exhibition that the organizers deem to be the first of its kind: a major survey of hunting and fishing in American art from the early nineteenth century to the start of World War II. Featuring works by such illustrious names as Thomas Cole, Thomas Eakins, Augustus Saint­-Gaudens, and Andrew Wyeth, Wild Spaces, Open Seasons: Hunting and Fishing in American Art examines the burgeoning identity of a young nation endowed with an expansive yet progressively dwindling wilderness. “Not mere pictures of wild game and fish, these paintings and sculptures show that the relationship between man and nature defined the American experience,” says Andrew J. Walker, the Amon Carter’s executive director.

Indeed, many of the works on display possess such narrative potency that they offer unexpected insight into American lives of the past, from the dramatic suspense of Arthur Fitzwilliam Tait’s A Tight Fix—Bear Hunting, Early Winter to such intriguing slice­-of-­life scenes as William Sidney Mount’s Eel Spearing at Setauket. But don’t assume that Wild Spaces, Open Seasons is limited to nineteenth­-century genre paint­ings. The Amon Carter also promises modernist works by such artists as George Bellows, Stuart Davis, and Marsden Hartley.

Wild Spaces, Open Seasons: Hunting and Fishing in American Art • Amon Carter Museum of American Art, Fort Worth, Texas • October 7 to January 7, 2018 • cartermuseum.org