• 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


Wick Avenue in front of the Butler, 1/18/2017



Until further notice

Wick Ave. is closed due to construction.
Visitors to the Butler Institute of American Art are instructed to park (free of charge) in Youngstown State University’s Wick Ave. Parking Deck (M30) via Walnut St. Entrance (GPS address: 100 Wade St. Youngstown, OH 44502). Please refer to this Map. The pedestrian footbridge to cross Wick Avenue can be accessed by the Elevator or stair case at the west end of the Parking Deck. Directional signage is clearly marked within the parking deck.


Please call Public Relations at 330-743-1107 ext. 1302  or email wendyswick@butlerart.com with any questions,  suggestions or concerns.

We are looking forward to the end results of the Wick Avenue improvement project and thank you for your patience and continued support and visits.

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Butler Young Collectors Group

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Patrick Boyd: Man With a Holo Camera


Exhibition: May 7 – October 1, 2017

Meet-the-Artist Opening Reception: May 7, 2017, 1-3 PM

Reception open to the public and media with free admission

UK artist, Patrick Boyd comes to The Butler Institute of American Art with his latest exhibit: Man with a Holo Camera. Boyd works at the intersection of photography, holography, art and science. Combining all with installation and a unique graphic language. His imagery is both compelling and emotive. His works of meticulously created installations and captured sequences blur the boundaries between two and three dimensions. His works present a colorful world where real life, narrative, light and shadow connect and collide.

My works of meticulously created installations & captured sequences blur the boundaries between two & three dimensions. I try to present a colorful world where real life, narrative, light & shadow connect & collide.”  -Patrick Boyd


Patrick Boyd, The Birds

Pulsed laser hologram




Gary Erbe: 50 Year Retrospective

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Exhibition: May 14 – August 6, 2017

Gary Erbe is a self-taught painter from Union City, New Jersey. Unable to attend art school, he supported himself and his family as an engraver. In 1967, Erbe discovered Trompe l’oeil painting and its masters. In 1969, Erbe conceived a way of creating paintings that would be more contemporary and a departure from the 19th Century Trompe l’oeil masters.

By freeing objects from their natural surroundings via the illusion of levitation and through the juxtaposition of objects that in reality had no relationship, he could create thought provoking paintings. In the same year, Erbe coined the term “Levitational Realism”. In 1970, Erbe decided to pursue his art full time and began to actively exhibit his work.

Erbe’s work combines flat space forms that are exaggerated and enhanced by shadow, light and color. The result is pure three-dimensional illusion. While there are and will always be elements of Trompe l’oeil in his work, he has less of an interest in fooling the eye in favor of stimulating the mind.

Over the years, I have explored the idiom of abstraction and cubism and how these modern principles can be integrated into Trompe l’oeil. I welcome the challenge of bridging the gap between modern art and realism without abandoning technique. I believe I have found ways of circumventing the so-called rules of Trompe l’oeil in favor of originality, inventiveness and creativity. Most of my work since 1970 is highly complex and can be engaged on many different levels. I have underscored the point that my work has less to do with the tenets of Trompe l’oeil and far more to do with the creative process of discovery.” -Gary Erbe

An exhibition catalog will be available for purchase in the Butler Museum Gift Store.

CLICK HERE for VIDEO on Gary Erbe: 21 WFMJ’s “Inside the Gallery” television segment with Butler Director Dr. Louis Zona.

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Gary Erbe, Baseball Album, 2003

Oil on canvas, 48 x 68 in.



Summer Visual Arts Day Camp

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81st National Midyear Exhibition

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81st National Midyear Exhibition

July 9, 2017 – August 20, 2017

Opening Reception: July 9, 2017 1-3 PM

The 81st National Midyear Exhibition presents works by contemporary artists who reside within the 50 United States or its possessions. Two dimensional works in all media, including digital works and photography are included in this exhibition.

Out of almost 900 works of art by over 300 artists from 26 states, 81 works of art have been selected by 76 artists from 11 states.

This year’s exhibition was judged by Sean P. McConnor, Professor of Painting, Curator of Art at Thiel College in Greenville, Pennsylvania.



David Hockney: Yosemite

David Hockney

David Hockney: Yosemite

Exhibition: July 23 – September 24, 2017

During visits to California’s Yosemite Valley in 2010 and 2011, David Hockney sought to capture its resplendent landscape. Working in situ, the artist rendered the scenery using a drawing application on his iPad. With the touch screen as his blank canvas, Hockney layered stroke upon stroke of color to convey the texture, light and presence of the natural world before him; embracing the immediacy of his applied gestures to work swiftly and in the moment. Whether portraying the quiet isolation of nature, or the bustle of human visitors within the park, the varying complexities of each drawing provide insight into the artist’s vision. Some are tightly composed, evoking the density and richness of forest foliage. In others, vistas take shape from an economical use of bold, confident gestures. Evident throughout is the artist’s command of color, which instills a vitality and exuberance that transcends the physical realities of the landscape. Recognizing their visual potential beyond the screen, Hockney transformed the iPad drawings into prints.

This exhibition was made in cooperation with L.A. Louver.

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David Hockney, Untitled No. 19, 2010

iPad Drawing Printed on Paper

37 x 28 in.