• 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.





George Gallo: Contemporary Impressionist

George Gallo, Connecticut River, Late Afternoon, 50" x 56", oil on canvas

May 1 – June 12, 2016

Born in 1956, George Gallo began painting at an early age.  He studied under the Russian master George Cherepov for three years and found his best expression came from painting landscapes. He considers painting a performance and his approach is to paint outdoors en plein air.

Gallo’s work is included in the private collections of celebrities like Robert DeNiro, Meg Ryan, Bruce Hornsby, Gary Sinise, Armin Mueller-Stahl and Mel Gibson, as well as other prominent collections around the world.

George Gallo, Connecticut River, Late Afternoon, 50" x 56", oil on canvas

George Gallo, Connecticut River, Late Afternoon, 50″ x 56″, oil on canvas

Louis A. Zona, Executive Director of The Butler writes:

George Gallo is an American original. Best-known for his contribution as a distinguished director and screenwriter, he is thrice blessed. Gallo is an extraordinary talented painter as well, as this exhibition reveals. On every level his paintings can be seen as a search for visual perfection and an excursion into the wonders of the American landscape. Just as the French Impressionists pursued light and form, George Gallo builds upon Impressionist theory and practice. But while Gallo’s works may refer to this historic movement, his painting explorations are filtered through decades of modernistic concepts and approaches. Clearly the Abstract Expressionist movement of the Post War period has made its impact on the artist. Gallo’s work is about spontaneity. Yes, he reads the landscape with its myriad of subtleties but his version of the land explodes with color and palette knife application, clear references to the American brand of expressionism. He offers us a feast for the eye at every turn. This is to say that the paintings of George Gallo owe their power to an artist so aware of past accomplishments. The paintings indeed celebrate the American landscape just as the Hudson River painters paid special tribute to the land in the mid 19th century. Gallo’s works display an ability to unleash the dynamics of color and emphasize what Cezanne called “form” or the underlying structure of a work of art.

Art which has endured through time is both highly innovative and skillfully accomplished. The landscapes of George Gallo certainly meet that criteria. A master of the film art, he is also a painter whose work excites the senses and makes us realize that quality art, like a masterful film, will extend and excite through the ages.

A catalog will be available in the Butler gift shop.




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



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.