A Wild Note of Longing: Albert Pinkham Ryder and a Century of American Art - New Bedford Whaling Museum
Albert Pinkham Ryder, "With Sloping Mast and Dipping Prow", ca. 1880–85

A Wild Note of Longing

New Bedford native Albert Pinkham Ryder (1847-1917) achieved legendary status among artists during his lifetime. This is the first exhibition of his work since 1990.

ABOVE: Listen to the curators speak about Ryder's work.

A Wild Note of Longing: Albert Pinkham Ryder and a Century of American Art

Wattles Family Gallery

Opened: June 24, 2021

Closing: October 31, 2021

A landmark exhibition at the New Bedford Whaling Museum, A Wild Note of Longing brings together major masterworks across the career of New Bedford native, Albert Pinkham Ryder (1847-1917), who achieved legendary status among artists during his lifetime. This is the first exhibition of Ryder’s work since co-curator Elizabeth Broun’s 1990 retrospective at the Smithsonian American Art Museum.

One of the most intriguing things about Ryder is his authenticity, a key factor contributing to the cult status he achieved during his lifetime. While we can find parallels and numerous connections with his peers, probable inspiration from the sites of his youth and travels, some influence by those who preceded him and contemporaries, Ryder was a prophetic visionary, seeing and representing the world in a way that diverged from everyone else.

A Wild Note of Longing brings together Ryder’s most iconic paintings, including exceptional examples from the Smithsonian American Art Museum, such as Flying DutchmanJonah, and Pegasus Departing. Also included are Ryder paintings from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Brooklyn Museum, the Phillips Collection, the Wadsworth Athenaeum, the Lyman Allyn Art Museum, the Toledo Museum of Art, and private collections. In addition, a dozen paintings by well-known modernists such as Arthur Dove, Marsden Hartley, Jackson Pollock, and Wolf Kahn who were inspired by Ryder’s experimental approach and abandonment of tradition are featured.

“In New Bedford, A Rare and Wonderful Exhibition of Albert Pinkham Ryder... Seeing Ryder’s work in his hometown rather than in New York or the nation’s capital is part of the thrill of this show.”

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What does Albert Pinkham Ryder mean to you?

2021.06.07 Pinky Website Header_sidebar

Few American artists have captured painters’ imaginations with the gripping force of Albert Pinkham Ryder, known as Pinky to his friends. Although he was an inspiration to writers, and a favorite of trailblazers like Jackson Pollock, Marsden Hartley, and Robert Rauschenberg, Ryder is not well-known by the general public.


Whether you know Ryder's work or not; whether he has had a marked influence on you, or you are encountering Ryder for the first time in A Wild Note of Longing, send us your video, written, or audio response.

What does Ryder mean to you? Click below to share your thoughts – as video, audio, or text.

Thanks To:

Exhibition Principal Organizers

Christina Connett Brophy, PhD, Senior Director of Museum Galleries and Senior Vice President of Curatorial Affairs at Mystic Seaport (formerly The Douglas and Cynthia Crocker Endowed Chair for the Chief Curator, New Bedford Whaling Museum)

Elizabeth Broun, PhD, Director Emerita of the Smithsonian American Art Museum

William C. Agee, Evelyn Kranes Kossak Professor of Art History Emeritus, Hunter College, CUNY, after museum positions as curator and director