Navigating the West: George Caleb Bingham and the River

The first great American artist based west of the Mississippi River, George Caleb Bingham, was also one of the foremost American genre painters of the nineteenth century. His paintings—depicting fur traders and boatmen at work and play—chronicled the transformation of America's western wilderness at the edge of the frontier: a departure point for explorers, adventurers, and pioneers. Met curator Elizabeth Mankin Kornhauser looks at this largely self-trained artist who located his paintings and drawings along the great central north-south axis of the expanding country, the Missouri and Mississippi rivers, creating an indelible image of the American West.

Elizabeth Mankin Kornhauser, Alice Pratt Brown Curator of American Paintings and Sculpture, The American Wing, MMA

Recorded September 9, 2015

Presented in conjunction with the exhibition Navigating the West: George Caleb Bingham and the River, on view June 17–September 20, 2015.

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