The character of the United States has often been closely tied to the acquisition, cultivation, exploration, and enjoyment of its landscape. As the geographical boundaries of the United States expanded in the second half of the 19th century, artists turned more and more to the unique American landscape for inspiration. The advent of train travel and the rise of tourist destinations—including the coast and mountains of Maine—aided artists in their search for visually appealing locales as subjects for their work. The resulting paintings, in turn, helped to popularize those destinations by making their beauty and drama known to an urban audience through public exhibitions.
Some of the artists in this gallery include Frederic Edwin Church, Fitz Henry Lane, Albert Bierstadt, Thomas Moran, and Charles Frederick Kimball.