The notion of American identity has been debated, challenged, and questioned throughout the nation’s history. Who is American? Who represents this country’s identity? Who makes it what it is? These questions, old as the country itself and still relevant today, are the subject of the exhibition We the People: Picturing American Identity, organized by the Amon Carter to take a new, mixed-media approach to presenting its collection. These works from the museum’s collection are supplemented by a small number of distinguished loans from both public and private collections.
The objects in the exhibition range from the late eighteenth century through the late twentieth century. From depictions of Colonial leaders and Native Americans to Cold War figures and the 1969 Woodstock Festival, the works on view move through the Civil War, women’s suffrage, the civil rights movement, and the 1960s, revealing how the fluidity of our national identity has been depicted along the way by American artists in paintings, photographs, sculpture, and works on paper.
We the People is structured around key moments in history when the definition of a singular American identity was challenged and ultimately reshaped. Organized into four themes, the exhibition asks: Who Is America, Who Is the American Woman, Who Shapes America, and Who Defines America?