Americans in Spain: Painting and Travel, 1820–1920


Mary Cassatt, Spanish Girl Leaning on a Window Sill, ca. 1872.

Oil on canvas, 24 3/8 × 19 in. (61.9 × 38.26 cm). Collection of Manuel Piñanes García-Olías, Madrid. Photo, Cuauhtli Gutierrez


  • June 11–October 3, 2021

  • Baker/Rowland Galleries

  • Free for Members

  • Included with admission

Americans in Spain: Painting and Travel, 1820–1920 is the first major exhibition to focus on the influence of Spanish art and culture on American painting. During the nineteenth century, artists increasingly added Spain to their European tours to study the masterworks in the Prado Museum and to capture the country’s scenic charms and customs. The exhibition features artists and movements that expand upon areas of particular strength in the Museum’s collection, including artists of the Ashcan Circle and the Eight, as well as major canvases by Mary Cassatt, William Merritt Chase, Robert Henri, and John Singer Sargent. Also among the highlights are Sargent’s famous Carmencita (1890) from the Musée d’Orsay; a newly discovered painting by Mary Cassatt from a Madrid private collection never before shown in the United States; and Spanish old masters on loan from the Prado Museum that American painters copied.

The exhibition’s more than 100 paintings, photographs, and prints are presented chronologically and organized to emphasize migration, tourism, and travel in nineteenth-century Spain. Additional themes include the romance and the reality of old Spain; Spanish old masters and American copyists at the Prado Museum; Spanish architecture, gardens, and landscapes; Spain’s Islamic history; and the critical and popular responses to American artists’ work.

This exhibition is co-organized by the Milwaukee Art Museum and the Chrysler Museum of Art.

Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this exhibition, do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.


“Americans in Spain: Painting and Travel, 1820–1920” is made possible in part by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities: Exploring the human endeavor.

National Presenting Sponsor

The exhibition is supported by an indemnity from the Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities.

Supporting Sponsors

Contributing Sponsors

  • Christie’s

  • The Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation

A generous gift from the Terra Foundation for American Art helped support curatorial staff at the Milwaukee Art Museum and Americans in Spain during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Milwaukee Art Museum extends its sincere thanks to the Visionaries.

  • Donna and Donald Baumgartner

  • John and Murph Burke

  • Sheldon and Marianne Lubar

  • Joel and Caran Quadracci

  • Sue and Bud Selig

  • Jeff Yabuki and the Yabuki Family Foundation