This exhibition explores representations of male role models and conceptions of masculinity in American culture from 1850 to 1950. Examining the environment that shaped manhood and masculinity from the Civil War to the end of World War II, Model American Men depicts the everyday man to the national hero. The exhibited works raise awareness about the cultural expectations and attitudes surrounding these American “models.”
On view are 30 images of men by artists such as George Bellows (American, 1882-1925), Thomas Hart Benton (American, 1889-1975), Rube Goldberg (American, 1883-1970), John Singer Sargent (American, 1856-1925), and James Van Der Zee (American, 1886-1983). The majority of the works are from the museum’s collection, with additional loans from a private collection, Williams College Archives, and the Chapin Library of Rare Books. The exhibition includes paintings, works on paper, archival photographs, and nineteenth-century handbooks for boys.