Tarsila do Amaral, Postcard


Tarsila do Amaral, Postcard, 1929. Private Collection, Rio de Janeiro. Photo: Romulo Fialdini.

Picturing the Americas: Landscape Painting from Tierra del Fuego to the Arctic

June 20 - September 20, 2015


Drawing on the power that the land holds in our imaginations, Picturing the Americas invites visitors to traverse a vast and magnificent landmass that spans from Canada's Arctic to the icy tip of Argentina and Chile and to see its icons anew. Featuring more than 100 landscapes from across the hemisphere, the connections and continuities of our shared history and land are undeniable: we are connected and yet we are distinct.

Created between the early 1800s and the early 1900s, just as nations in the Americas gained and asserted their independence, the paintings represent efforts by explorers and by artists — both European and locally born — to capture and define the essence of a place on canvas, always rooted in the natural beauty of the land.

Staged as a series of encounters between artworks, visitors and the land, Picturing the Americas is arranged thematically in dramatic groupings. Visitors will encounter beloved and unfamiliar sites as seen through the eyes of such celebrated landscape artists as Brazil's Félix Émile Taunay and Tarsila do Amaral, Mexico's Eugenio Landesio and Gerardo Murillo “Dr. Atl,” Canada's Cornelius Krieghoff and Lawren S. Harris and Frederic E. Church and Georgia O'Keeffe from the United States.

In bringing together for the first time iconic works from various nations, Picturing the Americas reveals how landscapes communicate aspirations, nationhood and distinct cultural identity. It also challenges visitors to engage with environmental issues and consider the land as a space of conquest, exploration, and contemplation – issues still very pertinent today.

Organized by the Art Gallery of Ontario, Pinacoteca do Estado de São Paulo and the Terra Foundation for American Art, which is also recognized for its generous support.

Lead Sponsor

Generously supported by

Supported by the Government of Canada / Avec l'appui du gouvernement du Canada

Government Partner

Official Hotel Partner


Learn more about selected works in Picturing the Americas: Landscape Painting from Tierra Del Fuego to the Arctic by listening to the audio tracks below. Co-curators Peter John Brownlee (Curator of the Terra Foundation for American Art in Chicago) and Valéria Piccoli (Chief Curator of the Pinacoteca do Estado de São Paulo in Brazil) share their thoughts on some of the artists, explorers and artworks in the exhibition.

Frederic Edwin Church, Cotopaxi, 1855

Click to play:

George Inness, Summer Evening, Montclair, New Jersey, 1892

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Arthur Garfield Dove, Sun on the Lake, 1938

Click to play:

Thomas Cole, Landscape with Figures: A Scene from “The Last of the Mohicans”, 1826

Click to play:

Sanford Robinson Gifford, Hunter Mountain, Twilight, 1866

Click to play:

Martin Johnson Heade, Newburyport Marshes: Approaching Storm, around 1871

Click to play:

Julius Schrader, Baron Alexander von Humboldt (1769–1859), 1859

Click to play:


Picturing the Americas: Landscape Painting from Tierra del Fuego to the Arctic

The catalogue is brilliantly illustrated with 260 color images, including works by U.S. artists Albert Bierstadt, Frederic Church, and Georgia O’Keeffe; Canadian artists Joseph Légaré, Frances Anne Hopkins, and Lawren Harris; Mexico’s José María Velasco, Uruguay’s Joaquín Torres-García, and Brazil’s Tarsila do Amaral, among many others. Leading scholars offer a Pan-American perspective on these landscape traditions: essays consider the emergence of modernism, as well as how the development of landscape imagery reflects the intricately intertwined geographies and sociopolitical histories of the peoples, nations, regions, and diasporas of the two continents.

Edited by Peter John Brownlee, Valéria Piccoli, and Georgiana Uhlyarik

  • 320 pages
  • 9 1/2" x 11"
  • 260 color illustrations


Picturing the Americas book cover
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