The American Dream: pop to the present

9 March - 18 June 2017
Sainsbury Exhibitions Gallery
£16.50, Members/under 16s free
#AmericanDream

America. Land of the free. Home of the brave.

Trace the creative momentum of a superpower in this major new exhibition.


The past six decades have been among the most dynamic and turbulent in US history, from JFK’s assassination, Apollo 11 and Vietnam to the AIDS crisis, racism and gender politics. Responding to the changing times, American artists produced prints unprecedented in their scale and ambition.

Starting with the explosion of pop art in the 1960s, the exhibition includes works by the most celebrated American artists. From Andy Warhol, Jasper Johns and Robert Rauschenberg to Ed Ruscha, Kara Walker and Julie Mehretu – all boldly experimented with printmaking. Experience this extraordinary history through their eyes.

Taking inspiration from the world around them – billboard advertising, global politics, Hollywood and household objects – American artists created highly original prints to rival their paintings and sculptures. Printmaking brought their work to a much wider and more diverse audience.

The sheer inventiveness and technical ingenuity of their prints reflects America’s power and influence during this period. Many of these works also address the deep divisions in society that continue to resonate with us today – there are as many American dreams as there are Americans.

This exhibition presents the Museum’s outstanding collection of modern and contemporary American prints for the first time. These will be shown with important works from museums and private collections around the world.

Sponsored by Morgan Stanley

Supported by the Terra Foundation for American Art


In Detail

Booking fee: £1.00 per ticket


Exhibition tickets

The American Dream: pop to the present

9 March - 18 June 2017

The Museum does not print or send out tickets for online purchases. Please ensure you bring your credit card or order confirmation e-mail to the exhibition entrance to gain admittance.

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  • Free entry and priority access to all special exhibitions including:

    - South Africa: the art of a nation (27 October 2016 - 26 February 2017)
    - The American Dream: pop to the present (9 March 2017 – 18 June 2017)
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