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Old Tower at Avignon

Old Tower at Avignon

Samuel Colman

An item at Art Institute of Chicago

Old Tower at Avignon depicts a 14th-century fortress in southern France. A noted colorist for his use of saturated hues, Samuel Colman captured the romance of the age-old structure amid sunlight, storm clouds, and reflections on the Rhône River. An accomplished landscapist, Colman began his career depicting New England scenery, as did his contemporaries among the Hudson River School, the dominant style of landscape painting in mid-19th-century America. After first going to Europe to study in 1860, Colman traveled extensively throughout his long career, traversing France, Italy, Spain, North Africa, Mexico, and the American West, among other destinations.

Americas in the Making

An exhibit at Art Institute of Chicago

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These galleries present dynamic and wide-ranging art forms made in the Americas, where artists have been at work since time immemorial. The region now known as Chicago has long been a vibrant center of Native artistic practices, including those of Ojibwe, Odawa, and Potawatomi nations. European settler colonialism and the development of the metropolis-including our museum's founding in 1879-introduced global art forms. Together, these local histories shape the collections we steward today, which encompass diverse makers, objects, and styles spanning centuries and continents, from North to South America and the Caribbean. The works here offer layered stories of the Americas in the making. Created for a variety of purposes-from aesthetic to ceremonial to practical —they have the power to evoke a range of emotions and responses. Complex factors impacted their making, including displacement and immigration, enslavement, global trade, and indus-trialization. As a result, they offer insights across eras while inviting reinterpretation in our moment. Just as artistic traditions are continually made and remade, so, too, are our efforts to present them. Today you can find selections of the many histories of art in the Americas on this floor and the floor above, in tandem with Gallery 136, a dedicated space for celebrating Indigenous art.