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Picturing America

Linen Hall Library ‘Pictures’ America

September 1, 2011

The Linen Hall Library, in cooperation with the U.S. Consulate in Belfast, is hosting Picturing America, an exhibition portraying masterpieces of American art that depict iconic people, places, and moments in American history. The exhibition coincides with the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks in the United States ten years ago this month.

Through paintings, sculpture, architecture, and decorative art, the exhibit depicts key events that made, and continue to define, the United States.  Funded by U.S. National Endowment for the Humanities, over 20% of America's schools and libraries have already displayed the collection.  Its aim is to encourage observers to interpret the stories, people, and ideals that define American culture, values, and traditions in a fresh and engaging way.

Speaking at the launch of the exhibit, Linen Hall Librarian John Killen said:

“In this poignant month for the United States, this remarkable exhibit reinforces that America is defined by its trials as well as its achievements.  Our library has many proud connections across the Atlantic, and through the exhibit, our visitors and members will gain even more insight into the character and fabric of America”.   

Deputy Consul General Kevin Roland added:

“We are very grateful to the Linen Hall Library for hosting this exhibition. In a similar vein to the Picturing America exhibit, this remarkable venue and its historical archives help to bridge connections between the past, present, and future. I hope that people will draw some new perspectives about the United States from this art, and that visitors will gain a deeper appreciation of our country’s history and our shared heritage.”   

The exhibition and accompanying resource materials have toured a number of local schools in Northern Ireland. It will be on display at the Linen Hall library in Belfast throughout the month of September.


  •  The National Endowment for the Arts was established by the U.S. Congress in 1965 as an independent agency of the federal government. To date, the NEA has awarded more than $4 billion to support artistic excellence, creativity, and innovation for the benefit of individuals and communities. The NEA extends its work through partnerships with state arts agencies, local leaders, other federal agencies, and the philanthropic sector in the U.S.
  • The Picturing America collection consists of 40 high-quality reproductions of great American art and a comprehensive resource guide. Further information on Picturing America can be found here:

Rachel Wetherall, PR and Marketing Officer, Linen Hall Library (028) 9032 1707.

Peter McKittrick, Public Affairs Specialist U.S. Department of State (028) 9038 6110 / 07770 802679