“THE PENNSYLVANIA LANDSCAPE: COLONIAL TO CONTEMPORARY,” FIRST EVER SURVEY OF LANDSCAPE ART IN KEYSTONE STATE
The unsung history of landscape painting in Pennsylvania is revealed in a new exhibition at Haverford’s Cantor Fitzgerald Gallery. “The Pennsylvania Landscape: Colonial to Contemporary,” running March 2 – April 1, 2007, is the first exhibition to bring together depictions of the Keystone State from first European settlement to the present day. It seeks to place the state’s artistic tradition within the larger story of landscape art in America. The exhibition is organized by William Coleman ‘07, the first student to curate an exhibition at the College.
Coleman, a history of art major, secured loans of many significant but rarely exhibited landscapes from collections around the state. Participating in the show will be private collectors, galleries, colleges including Bryn Mawr, Swarthmore, Dickinson, Ursinus and Lehigh, and such institutions as the Brandywine River Museum, the Woodmere Art Museum, and the Library Company of Philadelphia. The paintings, photographs, prints and ceramics in the show, says Coleman, demonstrate how “Pennsylvania’s Quaker history, position at the center of the new country both geographically and politically, and its centrality to the industrial revolution have shaped the way artists relate to the state.” Though not the intention of the show, he adds, “the objects included poignantly illustrate the physical changes in the state over the years.”
Highlights include one of the earliest extant Pennsylvania landscapes, an anonymous circa 1760 “house-portrait” of Colonel Jacob Duché’s manor and the German-born Paul Weber’s Chestnut Hill near Philadelphia (1863). Coleman observes that Weber’s painting illustrates the wide influence of the mid-19th century Hudson River School style, known for its “grand realism, making local scenery monumental.” Also included are Edward Redfield’s Wooded Landscape (c. 1920) and Walter’s Schofield’s The Hayricks (1940), two of a number of pieces that show the variety of styles that fall under the aegis of Pennsylvania Impressionism. Other prominent paintings are Andrew Wyeth’s End of Winter (1946), a watercolor painted in Chadds Ford (“it shows his staggering skill with the watercolor medium, using the white of the paper as highlight detail in the manner of Winslow Homer”); and contemporary pieces by Joseph Sweeney and Andrea Packard. Sweeney’s Above the Susquehanna reinterprets the realistic style of the Hudson River School, while Packard’s work shows, according to Coleman, a “land of memory and imagination—a medley of landscapes from childhood and the present.”
An opening reception for “The Pennsylvania Landscape” will be held Friday, March 2, from 5-7 p.m. and Coleman will give a Gallery talk on the history of landscape art in America and Pennsylvania on Tuesday, March 6 at 4:30 p.m.
Located in Whitehead Campus Center, the Cantor Fitzgerald Gallery is open 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday and noon-5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. On Wednesday evenings, the Gallery will stay open until 8 p.m. The Gallery will be closed on March 10, 11 and 15 – 18. For more information, contact the Gallery at (610) 896-1287, or visit www.cantorfitzgeraldgallery