Portland Museum of Art

Portland, Maine

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In Search of the Promised Land: Paintings by Frederic Edwin Church


From January 18 through March 18, 2001, the Portland Museum of Art will present a retrospective exhibition of works by Frederic Edwin Church (1826-1900), the most famous and distinguished American landscape painter of the 19th century, and the foremost member of the second generation of the Hudson River School. In Search of the Promised Land: Paintings by Frederic Edwin Church, organized by the Berry-Hill Gallery, New York, commemorates the centennial of the artist's death and the memorial Church exhibition held that year at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

In Search of the Promised Land comprises 44 paintings, most of them lent by museums and private collectors. its features some of the artist's most memorable and monumental canvases including Niagara Falls from the American Side (1867) from the National Gallery of Scotland, and Morning in the Tropics from the National Gallery of Art. In addition to the large public works, the show covers a range of medium size and small, intimate but equally awe-inspiring pictures, which he created either as studies for the major works or as personal and highly skillful sketches.(left: Mount Katahdin from Millinocket Camp, 1895, oiol on canvas, 26 1/2 x 42 1/4 inches, Portland Museum of Art, Portland, Maine. Gift of Owen and Anna Wells in memory of Elizabeth B. Noyce (1998.96). Photo by Melville McLean)

Known at first for his ravishing views of domestic scenery, particularly of the Hudson Valley region, Church was a visionary painter who explored far-off places from the Arctic North to the South American tropics to the exotic Near East. His magnificent home and studio overlooking the Hudson, which he called "Olana" - referring to the Latin name of a "treasure-storehouse" in Persia near one of the presumed sites of the earthly Paradise - is one of the architectural wonders of its time and is a melange of the Oriental and Moorish styles that he so admired. (left: The Iceberg, c. 1874, 22 x 27 inches, oil on canvas, Terra Foundation for the Arts, Daniel J. Terra Collection, 1993.6, Photograph courtesy the Terra Museum of American Art, Chicago)

The exhibition tour includes Berry-Hill Galleries, New York (April 25-July 15, 2000), Terra Museum of American Art, Chicago (August 4-October 1, 2000), Portland Art Museum, Oregon (October 21, 2000-January 31, 2001), and the Portland Museum of Art (January 18-March 18, 2001).

The fully illustrated catalogue accompanying this exhibition features an essay by noted Church expert Dr. Gerald L. Carr. (left: Natural Bridge, 1852, 28 x 23 inches, oil on canvas, Collection Bayly Art Museum, University of Virginia, Charlottesville)

This exhibition has been organized by Berry-Hill Galleries, New York. Presentation at the Portland Museum of Art is made possible by the generous support of Linda Bean Folkers.

Previous related article in this magazine

In Search of The Promised Land: Paintings by Frederic Edwin Church (7/21/00)

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For further biographical information please see America's Distinguished Artists, a national registry of historic artists.

This page was originally published in Resource Library Magazine. Please see Resource Library's Overview section for more information. rev. 4/27/11

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