American Landscapes: Treasures from the Parrish Art Museum
, an exhibition of some fifty paintings from the Museums permanent collection, will be on view at the Parrish from September 27 through November 29, 2009.
Ranging from such early nineteenth-century painters as Thomas Doughty and Asher B. Durand to contemporary artists Jennifer Bartlett and April Gornik, the exhibition traces the progression of American landscape painting from the Hudson River School to the present and affirms the historical importance and ongoing vitality of landscape painting in the history of American art. American Landscapes has been organized by Alicia Longwell, Lewis B. and Dorothy Cullman Chief Curator, Art and Education.
At the beginning of the nineteenth century, artists of the Hudson River School were among the first to record the New Eden that was the North American continent. Their framing of the view into the distance, often foregrounded by a solitary figure, literally invented a new way of seeing. By the middle of the century, the border of the wilderness had been pushed farther west. Industrialization had begun to transform the topography of the eastern United States, and a painting like Samuel Colmans Farmyard, East Hampton (ca. 1880) evokes a nostalgia for the vanishing rural scene.
Artists in the post-Civil War period frequently traveled to Europe to study, and the exhibition includes work by American artists who spent extended periods abroad in the 1880s and 1890s, William Stanley Haseltine, William Lamb Picknell, and Theodore Robinson among them. Lessons learned abroad were brought home by such artists as William Merritt Chase, John Henry Twachtman, and Childe Hassam, and their work will be compared and contrasted with that of their colleagues who remained overseas.
Modernist painters in the earlier decades of the twentieth century, such as John Marin, John Sloan, and Ernest Lawson, continued a landscape tradition that expanded to include urban settings. American Landscapes will conclude with a particularly strong representation of artists of the second half of the century who were drawn to the beauty of Long Islands East EndFairfield Porter, Jane Wilson, Jane Freilicher, Sheridan Lord, April Gornik, and Jennifer Bartlett.
American Landscapes is one of three exhibitions drawn from the Parrishs collection that will be organized for circulation to other museums. American Views: Three Exhibitions from the Collection of the Parrish Art Museum will also include Fairfield Porter Raw: The Creative Process of an American Master and First Impressions: Nineteenth-Century American Master Prints.