Monday, April 24, 2006

Snap the Whip!

I have to admit that something here in D.C. recently made me proud of Youngstown. I made a trip to the National Gallery of Art on the Mall to take in the Winslow Homer show they were showing (it closed at the end of February). Homer is one of the eminent American artists and his works capture American life, from the hardships of the Civil War to longshoremen rescuing drowning sailors in the Northeast, in ways that other artists can only attempt. His most famous work perhaps, is Snap the Whip, detailing the game that young kids play in an attempt to send their friends flying across a field. Certainly no show on Homer would be complete without this painting and yet, it wasn't present. I knew why. The Butler wasn't about to give it up! This piece has the good fortune of being a gem in Youngstown, as part of the permanent collection of the Butler Institute of American Art. The Butler's collection is currently at 20,000 pieces of American art, including paintings, statues, and photography. If you haven't been there recently, I recommend checking it out. They are currently exhibiting several shows in The Beecher Center, housed in the south wing of the Butler's Youngstown location. It is the first museum addition dedicated solely to new media and electronic art.

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