Contemporary American Painting 
In 1945, the Encyclopedia Britannica staged a sweeping examination of contemporary American painting from its art collection. An exemplary work by each of over 100 well-respected artists toured the United States, providing cultural access and aesthetic experiences to large numbers of everyday Americans. Contemporary American Painting  seeks to recapture the essence of the monumental tour through an exhibition of paintings, drawings, and prints chosen from the collections of Carleton College and Gustavus Adolphus College. It is a collaborative exhibition co-curated by Laurel Bradley, former director of the Perlman Teaching Museum and Donald Myers, director of the Hillstrom Museum of Art.
Works donated by Gustavus alumnus Richard L. Hillstrom, a savvy collector and patron of the arts, anchor Gustavus' selections. Carleton's contributions draw on donations by William Benton, an alumnus who served as the chairman of the board and publisher of Britannica. All of the artists featured in this exhibition were either represented in the Encyclopedia Britannica collection or had close relationships with those painters.