A Shared Love: Treasures of American Painting (1878-1919) from the Carol and Terry Wall Collection

May 15, 2024-February 16, 2025

This selection of eighteen artworks reflects the inspirational engagement with art and philanthropy by longtime MAM supporters Carol (1947–2022) and Terry Wall. Their generosity, wisdom, and commitment to community have contributed to the realization of major projects within the Museum, such as the Vance Wall Art Education Center, the Media Lab, and Ceramics Studio.

Embarking on their journey as collectors in the 1990s, the Walls discovered a shared passion for art celebrating the creative spirit that flourished in American painting at the turn of the century. Featuring masters of American painting from 1878 to 1919 such as Mary Cassatt and John Singer Sargent, the collection showcases key elements of early modern art with its varied, vibrant color palettes, simplified forms, and textured brushwork. It also reveals the couple’s shared interest in ethereal, enigmatic portraits as seen in Sargent's Study for Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose (1885-6). The floral theme of this work and several other paintings in the show complements MAM’s presentation of Art in Bloom (May 15–19, 2024).

Two of the Walls’ favorite artists, Sargent, and William Merritt Chase, are featured in the exhibition with family portraits and scenes of Long Island and Italy. This interest in capturing the interplay of light across various landscapes, as well as scenes of leisure and travel, are hallmarks of the Impressionist movement of this era. Two paintings by Childe Hassam from his renowned Flag series conclude the exhibition with his impressions of the strong patriotic spirit that seized America and the artist during and after World War I. A reviewer at the time noted that “Hassam has done for the flag what Monet did for the haystack,” linking the repetitive motifs and painterly style of the American artist with the iconic master of French Impressionism.

In essence, A Shared Love not only celebrates the artistic legacy of turn-of-the-century American art, but also honors the enduring legacy of Carol and Terry Wall, whose passion and generosity continue to inspire and enrich our cultural landscape.

Image Credits:

John Singer Sargent (1856 –1925). Study for Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose, 1885. Oil on canvas, 28 1⁄2 x 19 1⁄2 in. Carol Vance Wall Collection of American Art.

Mary Cassatt (1844 –1926). Woman in Black and Green Bonnet Sewing, 1886. Oil on canvas, 24 x 19 3⁄4 in. Carol Vance Wall Collection of American Art.

All MAM programs are made possible in part by funds from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts, the Vance Wall Foundation, and Museum members.

Logos for New Jersey State Council on the Arts, a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts,