• The Butler Institute of American Art, East Elevation


Founded in 1919 by Joseph G. Butler, Jr., the Butler Institute is the first museum of American art. The original structure, dedicated in 1919, is a McKim, Mead and White architectural masterpiece listed on the National Register of Historic places. The Butler’s mission is to preserve and collect works of art in all media created by citizens of our country. The Institute’s holdings now exceed 20,000 individual works, and the Butler is known worldwide as “America’s Museum.” View the Butler Collection

The Butler is located in Youngstown, Ohio, in Mahoning County, and receives no revenues from the city or county. The Butler charges no admission fee at the main location or at its branch museum, and relies on contributions from the community and the nation to meet its cultural mission. How you can help

The Beecher Center, housed in the south wing of the Butler’s Youngstown location, is the first museum addition dedicated solely to new media and electronic art. The facility regularly displays works of art that utilize computers, holography, lasers and other digital media. The Beecher Center houses the Zona Auditorium, a digital media theater designed for performance art and high-definition film presentations.

The Butler Art also operates a satellite facility in nearby Trumbull County. The Butler’s Trumbull branch, funded in part by Foundation Medici, focuses on important international artists whose works have profoundly influenced America, as well as exhibitions of works by contemporary master painters and sculptors. CLICK HERE to learn more about the Butler.


Today At The Butler

Autumn de Forest: The Tradition Continues

Autumn de Forest
Autumn de Forest

Autumn de Forest

Extended by popular demand through September 18, 2016

Butler director, Louis Zona marvels at the quality of work created by this young lady, and comments, “Autumn de Forest is by any measure, a child prodigy.  The community is in for a treat”.  

Now based in Las Vegas, Autumn de Forest is an artist who happens to be fourteen.  She moves freely between abstraction and representation, often mixing elements of both. She experiments with different techniques, such as laying down what she calls an “imperfectly perfect” surface. It may come as a surprise that a number of pieces were painted by a five year old. With no formal art training, Autumn began a self-education process and pursuit of painting at age 5, studying the works of other artists with a dedication and consistency that is beyond that of the usual child.  In her explorations and research of the style and technique of well-known artists, she has referenced and paid homage to the works of Georgia O’Keeffe, Andy Warhol, Grant Wood, Robert Indiana and Franz Kline, AND Robert Motherwell.  Autumn’s family tree has a number of art world figures including her great, great uncle Hudson River School painter, Lockwood de Forest.

Other members of her family include; her great, great uncle Robert Weeks de Forest, former president of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, cousins,  George de Forest Brush, an American painter in the Western School of Art, and Roy de Forest, a pioneer in the new California Abstract Expressionist Movement.

The Saturday before her show opening, Miss de Forest shared a bit of her creative process with the media and Butler visitors during a public demonstration .  She evenly inspired members of the audience of all ages-3 to in their 90’s, not only with her talent and technique, but with her grace, warmth and maturity.  Autumn de Forest has a way of connecting with people universally through her art, ability to communicate, and through her philanthropy work.

Much of the audience who attended the public demonstration eagerly returned the following day for Autumn’s exhibition opening.  It was one of our most attended Meet-the-Artist receptions.  Following the public reception, Butler museum members and members of the media celebrated with Autumn, her family and founders of The Park West foundation with a VIP “high tea” reception.

Autographed, full-color catalogs are available in the Butler Museum Gift Shop.

The exhibition is sponsored by the Park West Foundation.

A national tour is being planned for Autumn, but The Butler and the community is looking forward to Autumn de Forest returning to our Valley sometime in the near future.





Alfred Leslie: 10 MEN

Alfred Leslie, ALFRED LESLIE IN 2011, 3 panel self, 2011 -2012, 7x5 feet, oil pastel on canvas

May 1-August 21, 2016

Alfred Leslie, an internationally renowned painter and filmmaker famous since the 1950s for his abstract and figurative painting, has updated his craft for the contemporary age. On view will be ten larger-than-life oil pastels including portraits of Sam Francis, Richard Bellamy, Al Held, Jerome Liebling, Joel Oppenheimer and Willem de Kooning, as well as three self-portraits. This exhibition was organized by Janet Borden, Inc., NYC.  A meet-the-artist reception is scheduled for Sunday, May 15th from 1-3 pm.

Alfred Leslie, ALFRED LESLIE IN 1963

Alfred Leslie, ALFRED LESLIE IN 1963

Alfred Leslie, ALFRED LESLIE IN 1984, 3 PANEL SELF, 1984 - 2014, 7x5 feet, oil pastel on canvas

Alfred Leslie, ALFRED LESLIE IN 1984, 3 panel self, 1984 – 2014, 7×5 feet, oil pastel on canvas

Alfred Leslie, ALFRED LESLIE IN 2011, 3 panel self, 2011 -2012, 7x5 feet, oil pastel on canvas

Alfred Leslie, ALFRED LESLIE IN 2011, 3 panel self, 2011 -2012, 7×5 feet, oil pastel on canvas



Peter Reginato: Seeing Things

Peter Reginato, Bay City Blues, 96"x 72", enamel on canvas, 2016

June 12 – August 20, 2016

Peter Reginato born in 1945, in Dallas, Texas is an American abstract sculptor and painter best known for his painted welded steel sculptures.  He grew up in California and attended the San Francisco Art Institute from 1963 until 1966 when he moved to New York City to pursue his sculpting career.

Peter Reginato, The Dude, 70"x96", enamel on canvas, 2016

Peter Reginato, The Dude, 70″x 96″, enamel on canvas, 2016

In the exhibition, Peter Reginato:  Seeing Things, the artist fulfills his intention “to make art as full as possible” by removing realism from his work, and fully utilizing the greater possibilities abstraction provides.  Color works as theme in his paintings.  His use of enamel on canvas surprises and delights with the merging of exciting color contrasts in puddles and globs, spatters and drips, here and there with sudden, intrusive changes in color keeping us alert to the changes in structure.  On view at the Butler’s Trumbull branch will be 32-33 of Reginato’s pieces. A public Meet-the-Artist reception is scheduled for Sunday, June 12, 2016 from 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm.  Admission is free.

Peter Reginato, Bay City Blues, 96"x 72", enamel on canvas, 2016

Peter Reginato, Bay City Blues, 96″x 72″, enamel on canvas, 2016

Peter Reginato, Intellengent Design, 95"x 72", enamel on canvas, 2016

Peter Reginato, Intellengent Design, 95″x 72″, enamel on canvas, 2016



Summer Visual Arts Day Camp 2016



The Butler Institute of American Art will host a Summer Visual Arts Day Camp for children ages 8-12 at the Butler Trumbull Branch in Howland, Ohio.

Camp is from 10 am to 2 pm for 8 days, July 19-22 and  July 26-29.

Cost is $135.

* A 10% discount is available to families with more than one child enrolled in the camp*

* Limited free enrollment is available for IEP, physically or learning disabled children, and financially disadvantaged campers*

The Butler Institute of American Art Summer Visual Arts Day Camp will take young artists on an adventure of art making through the ages. From painting like a caveman and  creating Pop art prints inspired by Andy Warhol, to exploring sculpture and the three-dimensional world, students will take immersive courses in drawing, painting, printmaking, and sculpture, covering the scope of Art History from the Stone Age to Contemporary Art.  Other art movements such as Impressionism, Cubism, Abstract Expressionism, Surrealism, and more will be discovered.  Every day is an artistic journey as we travel the broad spectrum of art through the ages and celebrate the joys of creativity.

  • Campers must be between the ages of 8 & 12 by July 19, 2016
  • Campers must be present the first day of camp and attend all 8 days of camp

How to Apply:

  • Submit a completed Camper Registration Form and $135 registration fee through the Butler’s Education Department
  • To obtain registration forms and info email Joyce Mistovich or Maggie Kamenitsa or call 330-743-1711 ext. 114 or 117.
  • If applying for free enrollment, please submit the free enrollment application form included with registration materials and provide the requested documents listed on that form
  • All enrolled campers will be emailed a letter of acceptance.
  • If you do not have an email address, the acceptance letter will be mailed.




Tony Bennett & Charles Reid: Two Painters

Tony Bennett
Photo credit: Mike Seliger

Tony Bennett Returns to Youngstown’s Butler Institute for Exhibition with Painter Charles Reid

The Butler Celebrates Tony Bennett’s 90th Year

Youngstown, OH, June 20, 2016– The Butler Institute of American Art at 524 Wick Avenue welcomes the return of Tony Bennett to “America’s museum” with his colleague, watercolor specialist Charles Reid for their exhibition: Tony Bennett and Charles Reid:  Two Painters on view at the Youngstown museum July 9 through September 11, 2016.

Tony Bennett Photo credit: Mike Seliger


In honor of Tony Bennett’s 90th year, the Butler will celebrate the living legend along with Charles Reid during a special evening exhibition preview event for Butler museum members.   The preview event is scheduled for Friday, July 8, 2016 from 7:00 P.M. – 9:00 P.M. and is sponsored in part by the Mahoning County Convention and Visitors Bureau.  Museum Members will receive their invitations via mail.  Reservations are $75 per member, and members must R.S.V.P. by July 1st.   An invitation to the preview event is an exclusive benefit of museum membership.  For information on becoming a Butler Museum Member and to register, visit the website at butlerart.com.

The exhibition Tony Bennett and Charles Reid:  Two Painters consists of approximately 25 works between the two artists and includes a variety of subjects, from Bennett’s Tuscan landscapes, portraits and still lifes, to the classic landscapes and still lifes of Reid.

Watercolor specialist, Charles Reid. Photo courtesy of Sarah Reid

Watercolor specialist, Charles Reid. Photo courtesy of Sarah Reid

A piece from the Butler’s permanent collection, Homage to Hockney is included in the exhibition.  It is one of Bennett’s very favorite paintings, and was inspired by his friend and fellow famed artist, David Hockney.

Anthony Benedetto, Homage to Hockney, 1991, 36"x24", Oil on canvas, Butler Collection

Anthony Benedetto, Homage to Hockney, 1991, 36″x24″, Oil on canvas, Butler Collection

Butler Director, Louis Zona defines Bennett’s work:  “Tony Bennett’s work is about trained observations of the world interpreted by the artist in his unique style.  Collectors love his work, and it is thus in numerous public and private collections”.

Charles Reid is considered a master of watercolor, and has won numerous awards for his work.  He teaches workshops around the world, and has written eleven books on painting in watercolor and oil.   In 1980 he was elected to the National Academy of Design.  His compositions are rich and inviting.  His paintings profoundly express the artists understanding of light and color.

Charles Reid, Still Life with Paint Tubes, 2010, 19"x15", watercolor

Charles Reid, Still Life with Paint Tubes, 2010, 19″x15″, watercolor

This is Tony Bennett’s third exhibition at the Butler Institute of American Art.  He has had two exhibitions of his watercolor and oil landscapes.  One in 1994 at the Trumbull Branch in Howland, and more recently in 2001. The award winning artist and singer often mentions the Butler in his interviews and even in the concert guides when he is performing.

Tony Bennett’s life and philosophy is the embodiment of the Great American Story. As he celebrates his 90th birthday on August 3rd, his career as the pre-eminent singer of the 20th and 21st centuries is unprecedented. He continues to be embraced and loved by audiences of all generations. His life story is compelling in the lessons and values that it teaches:  dedication, commitment, courage, and compassion.

Born in Queens, N.Y., in 1926, Mr. Bennett served in the Army during World War II and marched with Martin Luther King Jr. in Selma during the civil rights movement. A dedicated humanitarian, he has raised millions of dollars for countless charities. In 1999, he and his wife, Susan Benedetto, founded Exploring the Arts to strengthen the role of the arts in public education. Today, ETA has partnerships with 33 public high schools in New York City and Los Angeles.  As a musical performer he has been honored with 19 Grammy Awards, is a Kennedy Center Honoree and an NEA Jazz Master.

Tony Bennett is also an accomplished painter whose passion for the visual arts began as a child growing up in Astoria, Queens and has flourished throughout his life. Painting under his given name of Anthony Benedetto, he has three paintings in the permanent collection of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington DC and has exhibited his artwork in museums and galleries throughout the world.

Whether performing in concert for sold out audiences or painting in his art studio in New York City, Tony Bennett has used his exceptional creative talents to search for “truth and beauty” in his artistry.

The Butler Institute of American Art in Youngstown, Ohio was founded in 1919 by Joseph G. Butler, Jr. as the country’s first museum devoted entirely to American art. Constructed of Georgian marble in the Italian Renaissance Revival style, the original museum structure is considered an architectural masterpiece, and is listed as a landmark on the National Registry of Historic Places.  The museum’s Beecher Center is the first museum addition dedicated solely to new media and electronic art.  Throughout its history, the Butler has remained free and open to the public. More than 100,000 people visit the Butler and its branch facility each year. Butler paintings have been loaned to museums throughout the world.  With its distinguished history of over nine decades dedicated to preserving our nation’s cultural heritage, it is no wonder that the Butler Institute is known worldwide as “America’s Museum.”

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If you would like more information about this topic, please contact Wendy Swick at 330.743.1107 or email at wendyswick@butlerart.com.



80th National Midyear Show

June 26 – August 28, 2016

The Butler’s 80th National Midyear Show will be on view in the MacIntosh, Finnegan-Hynes and Davis Galleries in the Butler museum in Youngstown. It is an annual juried exhibition of original work in all two dimensional media including oil, watercolor, acrylic, pastel, drawings, prints, photographs and digital works from artists age 18 or older residing within the fifty United States or its territories. This year, 93 entries from 74 artists from 14 states were accepted out of 775 entries from 293 artists from 29 states. Juror for this year’s Midyear exhibition is John Vanco, director and chief curator of the Erie Art Museum.



Flo Hosa Dougherty: A Lifetime of Creativity

Flo Hosa Dougherty

July 10 – August 28, 2016

Flo Hosa Dougherty:  A Lifetime of Creativity

Flo Hosa Dougherty

Flo Hosa Dougherty

On view will be a retrospective of 46 of Flo’s paintings representing fine art and fun art with emphasis on the local scene as well as the southwest where Flo presently resides.  A public meet-the-artist reception will be held July 17, from 1-3PM.

An art scholarship from Kent State University and teaching credentials from Youngstown State University prepared Dougherty for her thirty-year career as an instructor and art department chair, mainly at Boardman High School, in Boardman, Ohio. Fostering art has always been a priority – by encouraging students to seek related professions and increasing art awareness in the community. For this she has been honored with accolades from art and civic associations, and city and federal governments both in her home state of Ohio as well as in New Mexico where she currently resides.

Dougherty’s Blue Gate Gallery and Studio in Las Cruces, NM showcases her fine art and fun art. Entries in juried shows have won her an impressive amount of awards. Dougherty is also known as a whimsical illustrator, and is currently developing characters for an anthology of children’s stories. Original paintings and limited edition prints and cards are available through Blue Gate Gallery. Dougherty can be reached at bluegateflodoc@aol.com.


Three paintings from the Baseball series (L to R) Lefty Gets a Hit, Here’s the Pitch, and Game Ender.    Acrylic, 10″x 8″


Home of the Brave. Acrylic, 28″x20″