Wallraf-Richartz-Museum & Fondation Corboud

The Wallraf-Richartz-Museum will present a survey exhibition of U.S. Art from 1650 to 1950 this winter. The special exhibition will begin with works from the Colonial period, explore the masters of American Realism and conclude with examples of abstract expressionism. The Wallraf exhibition titled “Once Upon a Time in America” will be composed of about 130 loaned works from well-known collections and museums in the United States and Europe. It will include exceptional works from such masters as John Copley, Benjamin West, Edward Hopper, George Bellows, Georgia O’Keeffe, Mark Rothko, Barnett Newman and Jackson Pollock. Each exemplifies the lively, innovative and experimental nature of American art from the very beginning. Many of the works have never been shown in Europe before. The exhibition will be presented exclusively in Cologne from November 23, 2018, to March 24, 2019.

Thanks to the extraordinary quality of the exhibits, visitors to “Once Upon a Time in America” will gain unique insights into the fascinating diversity of American art during this 300-year period. The tremendous creativity of American artists will be demonstrated not only by world-famous works of art, but also by paintings, sculptures and photographs and examples of Native American art that are hardly known in Europe at all. The exhibition will consist of eight distinct chapters that tell the chronological story of artistic trends and movements in the United States. The exhibition will impressively demonstrate that there are many American art histories and not just one. “Once Upon a Time in America” will provide a broad audience with the unique opportunity to view American art from today’s perspective and to broaden the viewers’ own image of the United States. This special exhibition in the Wallraf will be the first of its kind in Germany to explore this topic in such a way and to such an extent. The exhibition is being sponsored by Bank of America Merrill Lynch and supported by the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia and the state’s arts foundation, Kunststiftung NRW.