Portrait of Catherine Ten Broeck,1719
With the COVID season ramping up again in certain areas of the country making air travel so challenging, my wife and I have begun taking day trips to locations within a couple of hours drive from our home.
As a result, we’ve found a few “silver linings” in the midst of the pandemic that would have in all likelihood eluded us had our proverbial wings not been clipped. Therefore, in the coming weeks, I will be profiling a few of the hidden treasures we’ve encountered during our travels so that you can enjoy them as well, either in person or vicariously through these posts.
Less than an hour’s drive from our home in Pittsburgh is the Butler Institute of American Art located on the campus of Youngstown State University in Youngstown, OH.
In the early 1900s, Joseph G. Butler, Jr. had a vision for a museum devoted to curating and preserving the art that America would produce which led to the creation of the first American Art Museum, and the Butler Institute was born.
To showcase the art, he knew would eventually become some of the greatest in the world, Butler commissioned McKim, Mead & White to create an architectural masterpiece. MM&W are best known for designing New York City’s Savoy Hotel and Madison Square Garden.
The original building was dedicated in 1919. This inspirational structure—crafted in the Italianate style, similar to many of the buildings throughout Washington, D.C., is now listed on the National Register of Historic places.
Today, as it was in the beginning, the Institute’s mission is to collect and preserve works of art in all media created by U.S. citizens. The Institute’s holdings now exceed 22,000 individual works, from thousands of American artists, starting from its earliest work - Portrait of Catherine Ten Broeck by Nehemiah Partridge dated 1719.
Additional information on this hidden treasure can be accessed via the museum’s website