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Utah Impressions: Selections from the collection of Diane & Sam Stewart

June 16 - December 30, 2007


Enjoy the beautiful landscapes of Utah through an impressionistic view at the Springville Museum of Art. Utah Impressions: Selections from the collection of Diane & Sam Stewart, depicting Utah's stunning and varied beauty as seen through the eyes of artists in the 20's, 30's, and 40's. It features work by Leconte Stewart, Lee Greene Richards, and Waldo Midgley among others. This exhibition is currently displayed at the museum and will remain until December 30, 2007.

Sam and Diane Stewart of Salt Lake City collect art. They are also very fond of the Springville Museum of Art and have put together an exhibit of some of the works of art in their personal collection for the Museum. "I have always been interested in art and beautiful things," said Diane Stewart.

The exhibition features the work of a variety of Utah artists, one of which is Mahonri Young (1877-1957), grandson of Brigham Young. In 1897 Mahonri started taking art lessons from J.T. Harwood. Describing his study of art, Mahonri said, "I have always drawn, and since I was 18 have consciously tried to learn to draw. I have loved and studied all the great draftsmen, but have always gone to nature for my material. I have tried to make good drawings, not drawings that look good." When he had earned enough money through various jobs, Young traveled to New York City to study art, and it was there he learned his approach to representational art. Throughout his career he was highly respected and won national prizes in watercolor, etching, and oil painting. One of Young's paintings in Utah Impressions is "Rural Landscape." Painted in the 1940's, it is a refreshing, impressionistic work done in watercolor, pen and ink, and charcoal.

Another of the artists whose work is featured in the exhibition is John Hafen (1856-1910). As a Springville Utah artist, Hafen's interest in art led him to donate a painting to the Springville High School and to encourage other artists (including his friend Cyrus Dallin) to donate artwork. This art collection grew and eventually necessitated a building to house and display the art: it became the Springville Museum of Art. A work by Hafen in this exhibition is called "Harvest Home" painted in 1908 in water color. This is a charming piece of a Utah country house, with a fall color theme.

David Howell Rosenbaum (1908-1982) an artist from Brigham Utah has a painting in the exhibition called "January Snows" 1936, oil on board. This piece uses impressionistic color and brushstrokes to give the sense of light and shadow reflecting off the snow blanketing a town in January. The expressionist painter and Judeo-Mormon artist was considered one of Utah's great colorists. During the Great Depression, the Works Projects Administration (WPA) paid artists according to the number of paintings they painted. It was during these years that Rosenbaum was at his creative prime, and many of his finest paintings were done during these Depression years.

Several pieces in Utah Impressions Exhibition are by Lee Greene Richards. Although best known for portraiture, Richards also painted still lifes, landscapes, and murals. The early years of the Great Depression saw a revival of historical and genre painting in Utah. Murals were commissioned for the dome of the state capital building, and Richards was one of the artists heavily involved in their completion. With a number of artists working on projects depicting Utah heritage and culture, the number of paintings of pioneers increased. Lee Greene Richards was one of the most active muralist and easel painters in this regionalist phenomenon. The works by Richards in this exhibition are primarily Utah landscapes and scenery as are the other works in the show.


(above: John Hafen (1856-1910), Harvest Home, 1908, watercolor)


(above: Leconte Stewart (Richfield), Golden October-1960s)


(above: Louise Richards Farnsworth, Red Butte Sand Hill - Oct. 1927)


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