KATHRYN EARHART | The Butlers Masterpieces to return after tour of the nation

The return of 50 works from the Butler's permanent collection in March will signal a reinstallation of the museum's masterpieces in the newly restored first-floor galleries.
Butler Institute of American Art paintings have toured the country for the past two years under the exhibition title "An American Anthem," receiving high praise and much media attention.
"An American Anthem" includes major works by Albert Bierstadt, Winslow Homer, Fitz Hugh Lane, Georgia O'Keeffe, Edward Hopper, Romare Bearden and Jacob Lawrence.
This exhibition completes its run today at the Orlando Museum of Art in Florida.
A grant from the Henry Luce Foundation of New York City helped to fund the tour and also assisted with the restoration of the Butler's collection galleries.
The Butler's collection continued to grow with significant new works being acquired in 2002, helping to round out the museum's outstanding survey of national treasures.
Among the Butler's recently acquired works is a very fine painting by American master William Robinson Leigh (1866-1955), the first by this artist to enter the collection.
The work, titled "The Old Mill," is a turn of the century scene that features children playing near a stream, with a working water wheel providing a stunning backdrop to the vignette. The idyllic scene is a fine companion to the Butler's Winslow Homer masterwork of genre painting "Snap the Whip."
"The Butler is proud to add this outstanding work by W.R. Leigh to its collection," said Butler Director Louis Zona. "Thanks to the generosity of regional collectors, the Butler's holdings continue to grow and expand to include the most venerated American talents. Scholars and the public at large will gain great enjoyment from this scene of America, beautifully constructed by an artist of enormous skill."
About the artist
Leigh was born in West Virginia and raised in Baltimore. With a career that spanned more than seven decades, Leigh became one of the most notable painters of the American West and is sometimes referred to as the Sagebrush Rembrandt. The artist began his training at the Maryland Institute and later studied at the Royal Academy in Munich, Germany.
The work in the Butler collection is a fine example of Leigh's realistic style and his unmistakable palette of soft purples, reds and yellows.
Barnet exhibit
The Butler's Salem branch is displaying the later work of much-loved American painter Will Barnet.
Now 91, Barnet works daily in his New York City studio, creating beautifully composed paintings that feature the human figure at work and play.
An event to celebrate the work of Will Barnet and to honor the Salem Community Foundation, whose funding has kept the branch in operation for 12 years, is planned for Feb. 28.
The evening will begin at the Butler's Salem branch, 343 E. State St., with a reception and gallery talk by Zona. The celebration will continue with a dinner and honors program at the new Salem Community Center.
Reservations are necessary to attend the event. To receive an invitation, call (330) 743-1711, ext. 123.
In Youngstown
Now on view at the Butler in Youngstown through April 6, 2003, are paintings and works on paper by Nicolas Carone.
Best known as an art dealer for Greene Gallery and for his discoveries of art talent, Carone is also an artist in his own right.
This exhibition, which features small, two dimensional works from nearly five decades of production, can be seen in the Butler's Mesaros Galleries.
Also on view in Youngstown through April 6, 2003 is a small survey of American painting from the collection of the Museum of the Southwest (Midland, Texas) titled "West by Southwest."
The show features stylistically varied, broad representations of historic and contemporary Santa Fe artists.
The heart of the collection are images of the American Southwest, its land and people, and symbols of New Mexico.
Masterpieces of the collection include works by Thomas Hill, Albert Bierstadt and other names familiar to those acquainted with the Butler's Western Collection.
The show is courtesy of Smith Kramer of Kansas City.
Paintings, sculpture
Today is the final day to view the exhibition of paintings and sculpture by regional artist Mark Lysowski, beautifully displayed in the Youngstown Butler's Finnegan-Hynes Gallery.
The artist will be honored today at the annual Polish Arts Club event scheduled for this afternoon.
Lysowski's very energetic installation features wall and floor pieces created in the tradition of geometric abstraction.
Trumbull branch
At the Butler's Trumbull branch, a show by members of the Youngstown State University art faculty has drawn enthusiastic audiences.
The exhibition continues through Feb. 23.
Also continuing on view at the Trumbull branch is an exhibition of outdoor sculpture that include fine examples of the work of Clement Meadmore, Beverly Pepper, Tony Smith, Joseph Lieberman along with permanent outdoor works by Don Gummer and Sophia Vari.
Family day
A free family day, which features a high definition animated film and an art activity, is scheduled for Saturday.
Call the Butler Education Department for information on this very exciting program for children, parents and grandparents.
XButler regular hours in Youngstown are Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday, 11 am to 4 pm, Wednesday 11 am to 8 pm, Sunday noon to 4 pm. Butler hours at the Trumbull branch are Wednesday through Sunday, 11 am to 4 pm. Butler Salem hours are Thursday through Sunday, 11 am to 4 pm. Admission to all three facilities is free.

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