Philharmonic Center for the Arts
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American Landscapes from the Paine Art Center and Arboretum
"American Landscapes," on display in the Philharmonic Center
Galleries from April 4 through May 26, 2000 both explores and celebrates
the varying moods of nature with an eclectic selection of 47 paintings and
works on paper. This important survey of American art spans more than a
century of realist, tonalist and impressionist styles and includes some
of the country's leading artists, among them
James Abbott McNeill Whistler, Ralph Albert Blakelock, Winslow Homer, Thomas Moran, Grant Wood, Thomas Hart Benton and George Inness. The unifying thread of this exhibition is the ongoing relationship between nature and the individual artist. All of the artists represented directly studied nature, and each had an intimate, personal response that is reflected in his or her work. (left: Ralph Albert Blakelock, Indian Camp, c. 1870-1880, oil on canvas, 11 3/4 x 19 3/4 inches)
"American Landscapes" was organized by the Paine Art Center and Arboretum in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, in celebration of the Center's 50th anniversary. Most of the work comes from a collection formed by the Center's founders, Nathan and Jessie Kimberly Paine. The exhibition not only provides a wide-ranging look at mid-19th- to early 20th-century American interpretations of the landscape, it also gives insight into the Paines' passion for collecting art. In the mid·20s, the couple began purchasing art in earnest to decorate the Tudor-revival estate they were building near the Fox River in Oshkosh. Most of their American collection was purchased from art galleries in Chicago, New York and Los Angeles during a two-year period from 1926 to 1928. When the Depression hit in 1929, they all but ceased collecting. (left: Winslow Homer, Lake St. John, Canada, 1895, watercolor on paper, framed 23 1/2 x 29 7/8 inches; Thomas Moran, Lower Falls, Yellowstone Canyon, 1919, oil on canvas, framed 24 1/4 x 20 3/8 inches)
Although the Paines mostly collected the work of important historical artists, they purchased pieces by living artists too, such as John Edward Costigan, with whom they established a friendship. The exhibition also includes selections acquired by the Paine Art Center and Arboretum following the Paines' deaths. (right: J. Francis Murphy (1853-1921), October Morning, 1901, oil on canvas, framed 25 11/16 x 31 11/16 inches)
In 1976 the museum began collecting American landscape prints from the Depression Era, many of which lifted small-town and rural America into the realm of Romanticism. Wood's Tree Planting Group, for example, with its metaphors of renewal and new life, held special meaning for a Depression·era audience. (left: George Inness, Off the Coast of Cornwall, England, 1887, oil on canvas, framed 34 1/16 x 39 1/16 inches)
In numerous, wide-ranging ways, "American Landscapes" tells a story - of the timeless, enticing relationship between man and nature
"American Landscapes" originated from the Paine Art Center & Arboretum and is circulated by Smith Kramer, Inc. This local presentation was underwritten by Friends of Art at the Philharmonic Center.
RL readers may also enjoy an image of Yellowstone Falls from the TFAO photo library
Read more about the Philharmonic Center for the Arts in Resource Library Magazine
For further biographical information on selected artists cited above please see America's Distinguished Artists, a national registry of historic artists.
Please click on thumbnail images bordered by a red line to see enlargements.
Search Resource Library for thousands of articles and essays on American art.
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