American Art

American Art Collection

The Montclair Art Museum is renowned for its collection of American art from the eighteenth-century to the present. MAM’s distinguished collection of eighteenth and nineteenth-century American art originated in the generous gift from co-founder William T. Evans of 54 paintings and two sculptures before his death in 1918. Among the major turn-of-the-century artists represented in this original gift were George Inness, Daniel Chester French, Theodore Robinson, and Julian Alden Weir, as well as local artists Charles Warren Eaton and Frederick Ballard Williams.

Major Donations

A bequest by artist Moses Soyer and his wife, Ida, greatly augmented the modern collection in 1974 with more than 100 works by Chaim Gross, Raphael Soyer, Ben Shahn, and others.

In 1985 the Museum became a major repository for the paintings, drawings, notebooks, and personal papers of Morgan Russell, a cofounder in 1912–13 of Synchromism, the first American modernist art movement, which stressed the potent role of color.

MAM’s collection of modern and contemporary American art reflects the cultural diversity of the United States. A major gift in 2008 of works from the Herbert and Dorothy Vogel collection greatly augmented the Museum's modern and contemporary holdings with paintings, drawings, and sculptures by Will Barnet, Robert Barry, Lynda Benglis, Richard Tuttle, and many others. In 2021, an anonymous gift of 201 photographs by Joel Meyerowitz established MAM as a center for further study of work by one of the first photographers to make a successful transition from black-and-white to color in fine-art photography.

Notable Names in the Collection

18th Century Portraiture:
John Singleton Copley
Charles Willson Peale
Gilbert Stuart
Benjamin West

19th Century Portraiture:
William Merritt Chase
Thomas Eakins
Rembrandt Peale
John Singer Sargent
Lily Martin Spencer

19h Century Still Life:
Sarah Miriam Peale
John Frederick Peto
Severin Roesen


19th Century Landscape:
Ralph Albert Blakelock
Thomas Cole
Jasper Cropsey
Asher B. Durand
Martin Johnson Heade
Winslow Homer
James Abbott McNeill


Frederick C. Frieseke
Childe Hassam
Theodore Robinson
John Twachtman



Early 20th Century
Modern Art:

George Bellows
Arthur Dove
Elsie Driggs
Marsden Hartley
Edward Hopper
Maurice Prendergast
Joseph Stella

Art of the 1940s & 50s:
Milton Avery
William Baziotes
Adolph Gottlieb
Norman Lewis
Robert Motherwell

Kenzo Okada


Ad Reinhardt
George Rickey

Mark Rothko
Steve Wheeler

Art of the 1960s–80s:
Josef Albers
Romare Bearden
Beauford Delaney
Melvin Edwards
Alice Neel
Louise Nevelson
George McNeil
Dennis Oppenheim
George Segal
Andy Warhol


Contemporary Art:
Chakaia Booker
Nick Cave
Chuck Close
Gregory Crewdson
Tomashi Jackson
Barbara Kruger
Justine Kurland
Ryan McGinley
Vik Muniz
Alex Prager
Lorna Simpson
Charles Simonds
Kiki Smith
Federico Uribe
Kara Walker
Carrie Mae Weems

Image Credits

Full Image Credits

  1. George Inness (1825­­­­–1894). Sunset, 1892. Oil on panel. 30 x 45 in. Museum purchase; prior bequest of James Turner and prior gifts of Dr. and Mrs. Arthur Hunter, Mrs. Charles C. Griswold, Mr. and Mrs. Alexander Kasser, Dr. and Mrs. John J. McMullen, Mrs. Siegfried Peierls, John Ritzenthaler, and anonymous donors, 1994.27.
  2. John Singleton Copley (1738–1815). Portrait of Elizabeth Allen Stevens, ca. 1757. Oil on canvas. 50 ½ x 40 in. Museum purchase; funds provided by Agnes. B. Noyes, 1955.13.
  3. Sarah Miriam Peale (1800–1885). Peaches and Grapes in a Porcelain Bowl, 1829. Oil on wood. 11 ¾ x 15 in. Museum purchase; prior bequest of James A. Aborn and prior gifts of Mr. and Mrs. George C. Dinsmore, Mrs. Maurice Emataz, and Mrs. William H. C. Higgins, 1992.18.
  4. Asher Brown Durand (1796–1886). Early Morning at Cold Spring, 1850, Oil on canvas. 59 x 47 ½ in. Museum purchase, Lang Acquisition Fund, 1945.8.
  5. William Merritt Chase (18491916). A Tambourine Player (Mrs. Chase as a Spanish Dancer), ca. 1886. Oil on canvas. 65 x 30 in. Museum purchase, Acquisition Fund, 1962.16.
  6. James Abbott McNeill Whistler (1834­­­­–1903). The Sea, 1865. Oil on canvas. 20 ¾ x 37 ¾ in. Museum purchase, Acquisition Fund, 1960.82.
  7. Morgan Russell (1886–1953). Synchromy, 1913. Oil on board. 16 x 12 in. Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Henry Reed, 1988.114.
  8. Harriet Frishmuth (1880–1980). Joy of the Waters, 1920. Bronze. 43 1/8 x 9 1/8 x 12 in. Gift of Mrs. Edward Knowles and Mr. John Dorland in memory of Alice B. Dorland, 1977.21.
  9. Elsie Driggs (1898–1992). Queensborough Bridge, 1927. Oil on canvas. 40 ¼ x 30 ¼ in. Museum purchase, Lang Acquisition Fund, 1969.4.
  10. Georgia O’Keeffe (1887–1986). Skunk Cabbage, ca. 1927. Oil on board. 14 ¾ x 12 ¾ in. Gift of Henry H. Ploch, 1998.22.
  11. Edward Hopper (1882–1967). Coast Guard Station, 1929. Oil on canvas. 29 x 43 in. Museum purchase, Picture Buying Fund, 1937.21.
  1. Ben Shahn (1898–1969). Three Witnesses, ca. 1931–32. Watercolor on paper. 10 1/8 x 13 ½ in. Bequest in the memory of Moses and Ida Soyer, 1974.64.
  2. Berenice Abbott (1898–1991). Father Duffy, Times Square, 1937. Gelatin silver print. 10 x 8 in. Museum purchase, Acquisition Fund, 1999.22.
  3. 14. Martin Lewis (1881–1962). Two “Zoot” Suits and One New Hair-Do, ca. 1940. Crayon on paper. 15 1/8 x 11 in. Museum purchase, Acquisition Fund, 1982.30.
  4. Steve Wheeler (1912–1992). Laughing Boy, 1949. Oil on canvas. 24 x 20 1/8 in. Museum purchase, Acquisition Fund, 1997.15.
  5. Andy Warhol (1928–1987). Twelve Cadillacs, 1962. Silk-screen ink on canvas. 46 x 42 in. Museum purchase; prior bequest of James Turner and Acquisition Fund, 1998.9.
  6. Romare Bearden (1914–1988). Late Afternoon, 1971. Collage and mixed media on board. 14 ½ x 18 ¾ in. Museum purchase; funds provided by The William Lightfoot Schultz Foundation, 1979.6.
  7. Alice Neel (1900–1984). Isabel Bishop, 1974. Oil on canvas. 44 x 30 in. Museum purchase; National Endowment for the Arts Museum Purchase Plan, 1977.43.
  8. Whitfield Lovell (b. 1959). Trap, 2000. Charcoal on wood, animal traps, chains. 62 ½ x 21 x 5 in. Museum purchase; funds provided by Frank Martucci, Clarence H. Seniors, and Adrian A. Shelby in memory of Elsbeth Dusenbery, 2001.2.
  9. Barbara Kruger (b. 1945). Untitled (Seeing Through You), 2004–05. Color photograph, ed. of 10. 72 x 62 in. Museum purchase, Acquisition Fund, 2006.11.
  10. Caren King Choi (b. 1984). Mt Rushmore (Nieces & Nephew), 2020. China marker, graphite, stickers on paper. 36 x 46 in. Museum purchase, Acquisition Fund, 2022.13.
  11. Tomashi Jackson (b. 1980). A Deeper Love (Pauli in Florescent Magenta / Ruth in Turquoise), 2021. Acrylic on pentelic marble dust and paper bags laminated into archival cotton paper. 60 ½ x 49 in. Museum purchase, Acquisition Fund, 2022.8.