• 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.

Today At The Butler

Kevin Llewellyn: The Devil’s Valentine

painting of woman with red mohawk

Kevin Llewellyn: The Devil’s Valentine

Kevin Llewellyn, DULCE.

March 10th – May 5th, 2019

Preview Party: March 9th   7-10pm (RSVP required)

Meet-the-Artist: March 10th    1-3pm  (Public)

Talent is assuredly inborn. While study will always be valued, what nature has given in the way of gifts, is a primary force. Ohio born, California artist, Kevin Llewellyn is proof positive that talent will always shine forth. A contemporary master, Llewelyn is one of those very rare talents who has created his own universe and is able to share that world with us in works of art which inspire, amuse, haunt, and marvel. Not since a young Dali appeared on the scene have we seen such invention with the pen and brush. This breathtaking exhibition will assuredly stay with you for the long haul.

Preview party with artist Kevin Llewellyn for the opening of his exhibition “The Devil’s Valentine”.
Meet Kevin and be one of the first to view his exhibition before it opens to the public. There will be entertainment, hors d’oeuvres, and cash bar with signature drink! All black attire is formally requested.
This special event requires guests to RSVP. Reservations can be made by calling 234-228-8555 or emailing biaalib2@yahoo.com

Prices are as follows:
$15 – students (with college ID)
$20 – members
$25 – non-members

This event is sponsored in part by Kat Von D, Drs. John Dunne & Jenifer Lloyd and Drs. Dean & Darlene Ball



Tom Cvetkovich: Incarnate

image of little girl in a circle

Tom Cvetkovich: Incarnate

February 17 – April 14, 2019

Meet-the-Artist: February 17, 2019 1-3pm

This mixed media installation from holographic and technology artist, Tom Cvetkovich, comprised of animated portraits with recurring motifs, contemplates the recycling of the soul. The work began with a photo booth equipped with digital screens to elicit various emotions from participants taking their own picture. The images were then set to motion, interacting with one another, and buffeted by the elements of earth, air, water, space, and fire to reflect the artist’s notions of the acute tenderness of the human condition, our inherent frailty, and life’s cyclical nature. Through this creation, Cvetkovich strives for understanding of what it is to be recycled just as the components of the earth are. The additional motifs of shadows, circles, and cloths, inspired by discoveries from the artist’s journey into his deepest unconscious, create a spiritual reference of awakening, add a saint-like patronage to the individuals, and encompass the fragility of human life. Cvetkovich’s use of graphics and 3D animation programs as a medium is a transition from his previous workings in holography, the time and effort exerted paralleling. His choice of production methods was determined to be the singular approach to meet his desired results concluding with the formation of Incarnate.



His Way: The Paintings of Chen Chi

watercolor painting of new york city

His Way: The Paintings of Chen Chi

Chen Chi, “High Noon New York”, watercolor

March 10 – May 5, 2019

The late Chen Chi moved to the United States in 1947 from his home country of China. As a painter, his works showcase the traditional Chinese techniques of watercolor. The delicacy of his medium allowed him to ever so gracefully capture the amazing power of nature and the elemental forces. Themes of the artwork came from the environment at the time of each pieces creation. Never did he look back, but only in the present did he gain his inspiration. This, in addition to Chi’s extraordinary mastery of brush and color, made his work individually and indisputably his own.  “Like Frank Sinatra, I do it my way.” – Chen Chi



Holger Keifel: Only in America

photograph of ray boom boom mancini

Holger Keifel: Only in America

March 24 – May 5, 2019

Meet-the-Artist: April 7, 2019 1-3 pm

Holger Keifel, who was born in Germany and now lives in New York City, has become one of America’s finest fine arts photographers. Best known for his powerful and stirring images of the First Responders on 9-11, his subjects now include broad and fascinating aspects of life in America. The Butler exhibition draws from varied themes that have interested Keifel in recent years. The exhibit is a part of the 100th anniversary celebration of the Butler and is Holger Keifel’s third Butler exhibit.


Holger Keifel’s photographs have been featured in The New York Times Magazine,

Der Spiegel, Icon magazine (Italy), Observer Sport Monthly, Black + White Magazine,

Esquire, Esquire Spain-Cover (Mike Tyson), American Photography, on Book and CD

covers as well as in numerous book projects, and in museum and gallery shows.


His work is included in several museum collections:

The National Portrait Gallery in Washington DC., The Butler Institute of American Art,

The Charles Schulz Museum, The Brooklyn Museum, The Museum of the City of New

York, and the National September 11 Memorial & Museum.


His boxing portraits were first exhibited in 2004 as a solo show entitled

‘A Portrait of Boxing’ at The Butler Museum of Contemporary Art in Ohio.

They were then shown in a two-person exhibit in 2007 at ‘Dean Project’ in Long

Island City and in a solo show with Lise Curry Fine Art in 2009, at ‘The Prince

George Gallery ‘ in Manhattan.


Two of his ‘Boxer’ prints were on display from May 2015 to June 2016 at the

Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery in Washington DC, which where acquired by

the museum in 2014. In September 2015, he was invited to give a lecture about this

work in the ‘Meet the Artist’ series at the National Portrait Gallery.


In 2010 this collection of portraits of more than 250 people in the world of boxing

were published in a 200 page book – BOX – ‘The Face of Boxing’ by PQ Blackwell /

Chronicle Books.


At his first exhibit, ‘Dying Well – False Death’, in Germany 2017, some of his ‘Donor–Organs’ images as well as his portrait of  ‘Albert Einstein’ where shown. He was also invited to hold an ‘Artist-talk’.


The Butler Institute of American Art will celebrate it’s 100th Anniversary in 2019, from March 24 – May 5, Holger Keifel’s Mid-Career show – ’Only in America’  will be exhibit a selection of his work, done through the 25 years since he came to America.


He teaches photography at ICP – International Center of Photography, Pratt Institute and FIT – Fashion Institute of Technology in New York.


Born in Germany, Keifel moved to New York City in 1993, where he lives and works.

This exhibition is sponsored in part by: 



Mark Perrot: Ancient Ink

old woman with tattoo

Mark Perrot: Ancient Ink

May 5 – September 1, 2019

Meet -the-Artist: May 5 at 1-3 pm

Mark Perrott has spent decades documenting the ever-expanding tribe of tattooed Americans. He made his first portraits at Island Avenue Tattoo in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 1979, and since then has explored tattoo parlors all across America. In his current series, ANCIENT INK, Perrott turns his camera to the now increasing tribe of highly decorated, aging, and graying baby boomers. Through large scale (50” x 50”) photographs and accompanying interviews, Perrott introduces the viewer to dozens of individuals, including Jim, a retired city planner and “ink addict” from the 1970’s; Marge, a 74 year-old former Cleveland police officer; and Henry, an 87 year-old WWII era Navy veteran. “These subjects,” Perrott says, “speak of resilience, loss, transformation, mystery, and the emancipation that sometimes comes with growing old.”


Pittsburgh native Mark Perrott has worked as a professional photographer for the past fifty years. In addition to his commercial work, which includes portraiture and photography for annual reports, Mark has lifelong, made photographs that document Pittsburgh’s citizens, and its rich industrial landscape.  In the early eighties, he gave special attention to the life and death struggle of “steel” in the Mon Valley, with a special focus on Pittsburgh’s Jones and Laughlin steel mill and its Blast Furnace Department, informally known as “Eliza.” Photographs from this project were used to create the book ELIZA, published in 1989, by Howell Press. He went on in 1999 to publish HOPE ABANDONED, a four-year investigation of Eastern State Penitentiary, located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. In 2013 he published his third book, E BLOCK, an extended photo essay of Western Penitentiary. Mark’s photographs are included in the permanent collections of a number of museums, including the Carnegie Museum of Art, the Brooklyn Museum, The Butler Institute of American Art, and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.



Hollywood Stills from The Butler Collection

photograph from movie idiots delight

Hollywood Stills from The Butler Collection

The Butler Trumbull

April 24 – June 2, 2019

Members only reception: May 11 (details forthcoming)

The Butler Institute of American Art’s permanent collection includes a unique collection of Hollywood Movie stills from the so called Golden Age of Hollywood. This unique collection, a gift of Charles A. Leedy  includes many of the great stars of the silver screen in many of their greatest roles. The collection is unique and a cultural treasure.



Richard Mitchell Lecture

Richard Mitchell

Truth and Illusion in the History of Still Photography

March 24th, 2019 at 2 pm

Zona Auditorium

A brief discussion of “Truth” and “Illusion” in the history of still photography. Professor Mitchell will discuss the transitional nature of photography as both document and artistic expression. Examples from the history of still photography will be shown and discussed with an emphasis on whether we can believe what we see.

Richard Mitchell is a Professor Emeritus with Youngstown State University where he taught both studio and art history courses in photography.  Trained as a painter and sculptor, he introduced photography as an academic discipline to the Department of Art at YSU in the Mid-1970’s. He was on the YSU faculty for over 30 years. Raised and educated in the North American Midwest, Mitchell has traveled extensively in Latin America to photograph and research Pre-Columbian Art.

“My travels to more than 50 Pre-Columbian sites from Bolivia to Mexico continue to influence my work. It was in Latin America that I truly learned to appreciate the past and connect it to the present with a sense of cultural dignity.” – Professor Richard Mitchell