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Thomas Chambers (1808-1869): American Marine and Landscape Painter
September 27, 2008 - December 28, 2008
Rockaway Beach
Rockaway Beach, New York, with the Wreck of the Ship Bristol
Thomas Chambers, American (born England)
Oil on canvas
21 3/4 x 30 3/8 inches (55.2 x 77.2 cm)
Indiana University Art Museum, Bloomington
Morton and Marie Bradley Memorial Collection
Thomas Chambers (1808-1869): American Marine and Landscape Painter
September 27, 2008 - December 28, 2008
This exhibition—the first major survey of Thomas Chambers’s work since 1942—seeks to define his style, examine his sources, and investigate the popular audience for marine and landscape painting in the mid-nineteenth century. Active for almost three decades as a painter, Chambers left behind a boldly expressive and puzzling body of work. Recovered from obscurity in the mid-twentieth century, he was enthusiastically celebrated as an American folk painter whose rhythmic sense of contour, lively pattern, and strong color anticipated modern taste.

Approximately sixty objects, borrowed from public and private collections throughout the United States, are on display, including forty-five paintings by Chambers and fifteen related paintings by his contemporaries, plus books, furniture, and ceramics decorated in the same lively style.

Organizers and Sponsors

This exhibition is organized by the Philadelphia Museum of Art and its Center for American Art, in association with the Indiana University Art Museum, and with the support of a generous gift from Mr. and Mrs. William C. Buck.

Exhibitions in the Berman and Stieglitz Galleries in 2008, including Thomas Chambers, are made possible by RBC Wealth Management.


Kathleen A. Foster • The Robert L. McNeil, Jr., Senior Curator of American Art and Director, Center for American Art


Berman and Stieglitz Galleries, ground floor


Philadelphia Museum of Art • September 27–December 28, 2008
Hyde Collection, Glens Falls, New York • February 8–April 19, 2009
American Folk Art Museum, New York • September 29, 2009–March 7, 2010
Indiana University Art Museum, Bloomington, Indiana • March 26–May 30, 2010