Well, the Amon Carter Museum of American Art is certainly doing its aesthetic best to mark the July 4th holiday with an appropriately patriotic-themed exhibition entitled We the People: Picturing American Identity. This exhibition unflinchingly tackles nothing short of the monumental themes of American identity by asking all the “big” questions: Who represents this country’s identity? Who is an American? And perhaps most imponderable of all: Who makes it what it is?
The Carter tries to answer these multi-faceted questions by using the art equivalent of a multi-faceted answer: A mixed-media take on its own sprawling collection. The exhibition takes on its gargantuan topic by breaking it down into four manageable themes, each framed by a question: Who Is America? Who Is the American Woman? Who Shapes America? and Who Defines America? By presenting certain select works from the museum’s permanent collection, along with some choice pieces on loan from other public and private institutions, the Carter is adopting a wide-angle lens on the country’s history. Through its displayed art, it will hearken back to the country’s colonial past, the often tortured history of Native Americans, the bloody Civil War, the ground-breaking women’s suffrage and civil rights movements, the tension and paranoia-filled Cold War, even the tie-dyed Woodstock ‘60s generation. The show’s ultimate goal is to demonstrate, through the prisms of painting, sculpture, works on paper, and photography, the idea and the ideal of America, and how being an American has evolved over time.
Finally, and very much in keeping with the communal spirit of July 4th, the Carter exhibition is fully interactive as patrons are invited not only to write, but to display, their interpretation of what being an American truly signifies.
Details: We the People: Picturing American Identity, Through September 8, 2013
Amon Carter Museum of American Art, 3501 Camp Bowie Boulevard, Fort Worth