Connections Across Collections: Curator Picks

We reached out to our curators and invited them to shed light on significant and/or recent acquisitions that resonate with them during American Artist Appreciation Month. Find out more about the contemporary piece by Jaune Quick-to-See Smith and 1930 Marsden Hartley painting that they picked!

Dr. Anna Katherine Brodbeck, Hoffman Family Senior Curator of Contemporary Art

Jaune Quick-to-See Smith, Montana Memories: White Pine, 1989, mixed media on canvas, Dallas Museum of Art, TWO x TWO for AIDS and Art Fund, 2020.15

The paintings of Jaune Quick-to-See Smith—an enrolled Salish member of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Nation, Montana—comment on the ongoing effects of US colonization and environmental destruction. Seen this way, the linear divisions of the ochre ground reference the US government partitioning of her natal land, while the foregrounded symbols enact a tension between settler and indigenous cultures.

Sue Canterbury, The Pauline Gill Sullivan Curator of American Art

Marsden Hartley, Mountains, no. 19, 1930, oil on board, Dallas Museum of Art, The Eugene and Margaret McDermott Art Fund, Inc., 2008.24.McD

I see the colorful splendor of a New England autumn as an alluring characteristic particularly associated with America. It is the motif to which Hartley turned in 1930 to allay criticisms that his work was not sufficiently “American” in its subject matter. These paintings of the White Mountains helped turn the tide of his career.


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