• 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.”

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 October 16, 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

Extended by popular demand through November 20, 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



Tony Bennett & Charles Reid: Two Painters

Tony Bennett
Photo credit: Mike Seliger

Through September 11, 2016

Tony Bennett Photo credit: Mike Seliger

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 year, 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.




80th National Midyear Show

On view through 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 was John Vanco, director and chief curator of the Erie Art Museum.



Flo Hosa Dougherty: A Lifetime of Creativity

Flo Hosa Dougherty

Through August 28, 2016

Flo Hosa Dougherty:  A Lifetime of Creativity

Flo Hosa Dougherty

Flo Hosa Dougherty

On view is 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 was held July 17.

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″