An American Renaissance in Fort Wayne: Muralists from the Allen County Courthouse

July 15, 2023 - September 10, 2023

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Beaux-Arts architecture was the dominant style used for civic buildings and private mansions during the period known as the American Renaissance, from 1876 to 1917 in the U.S. Architects strongly identified with classical Greek and Roman structures and the Italian Renaissance, all perceived as high points in European culture. They envisioned unifying all the arts in majestic, formal buildings with interiors adorned with murals, sculptural reliefs, and ornamental decoration that evoked grandeur while communicating the role and the function of the building. The Library of Congress and the Boston Public Library became national models, setting high standards for lavish mural cycles.

The Allen County Courthouse was built during this era and its crown jewel is the mural collection. This exhibition will focus on the lives of courthouse painters Charles Holloway and Carl Gutherz, their allegorical representations of law and order, and the mural making process.

Works in this exhibition are part of a generous donation from the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art and loans from the Allen County Courthouse Preservation Trust and the History Center: Allen County-Fort Wayne Historical Society. This exhibition is supported by the Edward D. and Ione Auer Foundation and Knox Decorative Painting.