One of the first internationally recognized artists to come from the American Midwest, George Caleb Bingham moved to Missouri at an early age, taught himself to paint, and by 1830, at the tender age of 19, was executing commissioned portraits. He wound up earning his living painting the likenesses of just about every distinguished person in the state. He also enjoyed a career in politics, rising to be the state’s treasurer. However, he’s best known today for his vibrant, golden-hued studies of life among the Mississippi and Missouri rivers that would make the Show Me State into one of the new nation’s economic engines.
This week, the Amon Carter Museum of American Art opens a major retrospective of the artist’s work. Navigating the West: George Caleb Bingham and the River is three years late for Bingham’s bicentennial, but since it’s the first major show of his work in more than 25 years, we can just treat it as his bicentennial anyway. The exhibit will go on from Fort Worth to the St. Louis Art Museum (which helped the Carter organize the show) and then to New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, so its landing here is a major event for Fort Worth’s art scene.
[box_info]Navigating the West: George Caleb Bingham and the River runs Oct 3-Jan 18 at Amon Carter Museum of American Art, 3501 Camp Bowie Blvd, FW. Admission is free. Call 817-738-1933.[/box_info]