Prodigy Museum Artist to honor International Museum Day
Youngest Artist in history honored with solo museum exhibition
May 18th & 19th 2016

Interviews with Autumn de Forest Available Upon Request
B-Roll Embedded Below and High-Resolution Photography Available Upon Request

National Media Inquiries:
Allison Zucker-Perelman
Relevant Communications

Regional Media Inquiries:
Wendy Swick
The Butler Institute of American Art

Autumn de Forest Butler Museum of American Art

Youngstown, Ohio April: 2016: On Wednesday, May 18, 2016, International Museum Day, Autumn de Forest will become the youngest painter in history with a solo museum exhibition. Described as the most unusual of prodigies by the country’s foremost authority on child prodigies, the 14-year-old artist has been a professional painter for more than half her young life.
Now open at the Butler Institute of American Art, the exhibition, “Autumn de Forest: The Tradition Continues” runs through June 26th, 2016. Autumn will make a special appearance at the Youngstown museum in commemoration of International Museum Day, a global celebration of museums and their cultural importance in our world.
By all accounts, at age 14, she is the youngest artist to ever have her work featured in a solo museum exhibition. The Artist will be in Youngstown May 18th and 19th, 2016.

Autumn impersonates herself at the opening of her exhibition “The Tradition Continues” at the Butler Institute of American Art.

In commemoration of International Museum Day, numerous school groups will have the opportunity to meet Autumn. Area underserved schools and exceptional needs students from The Rich Center for Autism, from Youngstown State University, will all have the opportunity to attend workshops with Autumn. Autumn will reveal some of her artistic techniques in a program she developed specifically for The President’s Committee On the Arts and Humanities, in which she has the distinction of being the youngest artist ever invited to consult with that venerable organization.
As many great American museums strive for every dollar of donations and all the funding they are able, it is not without irony that Autumn’s exhibition at the Butler has garnered a greater advance interest than some exhibitions by 20th Century masters, such as the great Abstract Expressionist Jasper Johns. Autumn employs a technique termed encaustic, a 2000-year-old wax painting technique, revived by the genius artist Johns and an inspiration to the 14-year Prodigy Artist.

Opening Day of the Exhibition

Autumn presents her technique

Executive Director Dr. Lou Zona gives Autumn her first glimpse of her exhibition “The Tradition Continues” at the Butler Institute of American Art.


Founded in 1919, the Butler Institute is the first museum of American art. The most celebrated works in the Butler’s permanent collection include masterpieces by Winslow Homer, Norman Rockwell, Jackson Pollack, Robert Motherwell and Andy Warhol. Autumn’s works are currently exhibited among these Masters.
Autumn de Forest On Her Solo Exhibition at The Butler Museum:
“It is almost unbelievable to me to be appreciated and recognized by such a major American fine art institution. It’s truly an honor and perhaps one of the greatest compliments I have ever received”.

A Gallery of the Exhibition

Dr. Lou Zona, Director of the Butler Institute of American Art, shows Autumn a painting by one of her ancestors, George de Forest Brush, which resides in the museum’s permanent collection.

With projects as diverse a line of Converse Chuck Taylor Shoes (sold exclusively at Nordstrom stores nationwide), or being honored by the Vatican for her creativity, humanitarianism and charitable works, she was recently extended a private audience with Pope Francis, in which she presented him with her painting “Resurrection”, which now resides in the Vatican.

Video Clip: Vatican City

Pope Francis Receiving de Forest’s “Resurrection” November 2015

“I have always wanted to change the world for the better with my art, explains Autumn, “and if my paintings can help other young people express themselves, by providing money for musical instruments, arts education, or to help supply arts materials, that is just incredible. That is just an incredible honor…” “And if my artwork can help those who have been in a tragedy,” she continues, “or a natural disaster, by helping young people to express their hope, or even their fears with creativity, well, that is just an incredible feeling”.

It is with this sort of nod to the past, and respect for art history which makes de Forest such a welcome addition to today’s art and museum world. “This wonderful exhibition of paintings by such a young artist gives us hope about the future of American art.” says the museum’s director Dr. Lou Zona about Autumn’s exhibition. “(She) has inspired us with her creativity, her knowledge of the field and her outstanding accomplishment”.

“She is nothing short of extraordinary” – Matt Lauer – Today Show
“Autumn de Forest is one of the most important artists of her generation” – The Walt Disney Company
“Autumn de Forest is a creative genius” Discovery Channel

The Butler Institute of American Art in Youngstown, Ohio was founded in 1919 by Joseph G. Butler, Jr. as the country’s first museum devoted entirely to American art. Constructed of Georgian marble in the Italian Renaissance Revival style, the original museum structure is considered an architectural masterpiece, and is listed as a landmark on the National Registry of Historic Places. The museum’s Beecher Center is the first museum addition dedicated solely to new media and electronic art. Throughout its history, the Butler has remained free and open to the public. More than 100,000 people visit the Butler and its branch facility each year. Butler paintings have been loaned to museums throughout the world. With its distinguished history of over nine decades dedicated to preserving our nation’s cultural heritage, it is no wonder that the Butler Institute is known worldwide as “America’s Museum.”

Interviews are available with Autumn de Forest
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Media Contact:
Allison Zucker-Perelman
Relevant Communications