The Gilded Age: Treasures from the Lightner Museum

A dynamic era that shaped modern America, the Gilded Age witnessed the sudden rise of a new millionaire class whose wealth derived from emerging industries including railroads, oil, and steel manufacturing. These titans of American industry expressed their high status by building stately mansions filled with beautiful objects and substantial art collections.

The period was vividly depicted in the novels of Edith Wharton, Henry James, and Mark Twain who coined the term ‘The Gilded Age’ to satirize the gross materialism and rampant political corruption of his day. Despite Twain’s criticism, the aesthetic and philanthropic advancements of the era reshaped American cultural life at the dawn of the twentieth century. During these years, the United States achieved new levels of sophistication in painting, sculpture, architecture, and the decorative arts, establishing itself as a cultural force on the world stage for the first time.

Displayed in the grand ballroom of the former Hotel Alcazar, The Gilded Age: Treasures from the Lightner Museum presents a lavish display of fine and decorative art created during a defining period in American history.

Support for the exhibition comes from the St. Johns County Tourist Development Council; the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Arts and Culture; the Florida Council on Arts and Culture; and the National Endowment for the Arts.

St. Johns County Tourist Development Council
St. Johns Cultural Council
Culture Builds Florida

Now on view

Category: Current,Exhibitions

Alfred Stevens, Woman in Yellow, c. 1866. Oil on canvas

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