This exhibition has been made possible by the National Endowment for the Arts as part of American Masterpieces: Three Centuries of American Genius.
This exhibition and catalogue are supported by a generous grant from the Henry Luce Foundation.
John Rogers (1829 – 1904) is arguably the most popular American sculptor ever, selling over 80,000 small plasters, known as Rogers Groups, over the course of a career that spanned the late nineteenth century. Rogers created arresting and memorable subjects drawn from the American experience, including the Civil War, domestic life, and theatrical scenes from William Shakespeare and Washington Irving. Rogers himself said, “I want each group to tell a story,” and these narrative sculptures carried on a deeply rooted popular American genre tradition that was established in the antebellum period by painters such as William Sidney Mount and George Caleb Bingham.
Rogers wished to make his sculptures available and affordable to the widest possible audience, and his success in creating and disseminating a democratic art form set him apart from his contemporaries. In an era when most Americans had little access to original works of art, Rogers Groups were commonplace in the homes of the middle and upper classes. More than any other artist of his era, Rogers reached Americans en masse, addressing the ideals and issues that shaped their lives and defined their experience.
John Rogers: American Stories is a retrospective exhibition that examines all aspects of this democratic artist’s career, from Civil War and Reconstruction to genre subjects and domestic life to his works taken from literature and the theater. The Dixon residence will be filled with forty of Roger’s unforgettable sculptures, supplemented by paintings by some of the most revered artists in nineteenth-century America, including Edwin White and William Sidney Mount.
Exhibition Sponsors: Foy and Bill Collidge, Brenda and Lester Crain, Rose M. Johntson, Nancy and Steve Morrow, Irene and Joe Orgill, Musette and Allen Morgan, Ann and Steve Reynolds
This exhibition has been made possible by the National Endowment for the Arts as part of American Masterpieces: Three Centuries of Artistic Genius. This exhibition and catalogue are supported by a generous grant from the Henry Luce Foundation