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Montgomery Museum of Fine Art

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Romantic Spirits: Nineteenth-Century Paintings of the South from the Johnson Collection

April 12 through July 06, 2014

EXRomantic_StearnsThe philosophy of Romanticism, originating in late eighteenth-century European literature and fine art, found ongoing expression in the art of the nineteenth-century Southern United States. The cultural roots of the agrarian South inspired Southern artists’ love of nature, and their response to the inevitability of change in an imperfect world.  Spanning the years 1810 to 1886, Romantic Spirits includes the works of thirty-two artists who lived and painted in the American South.

The works in the exhibition are a portion of the holdings of The Johnson Collection, Spartanburg, South Carolina, which is dedicated to collecting and exhibiting Southern artists’ works that capture the rich history and culture of the region.


Junius Brutus Stearns (1810–1885), The Letter, 1865, oil on canvas, The Johnson Collection, Spartanburg, South Carolina