Rockford Art Museum

Rockford, IL



Bo Bartlett: Heartlands


Larger-than-life paintings of familiar subjects set in rural backgrounds are trademarks of Philadelphia artist Bo Bartlett's work. The exhibition, Bo Bartlett: Heartlands featuring 15 monumental oil paintings, opened at Rockford Art Museum on November 13, 1998 and is syonsored by Amcore Bank. The exhibition ends on January 24, 1999.

Bartlett's contemporary realist style has been compared to Winslow Homer and Norman Rockwell and is described as history painting because of its size and subject matter. Idealistic and mysterious subjects, coupled with canvases of up to nine feet, put Bartlett's work in the heroic category. "There is a :dream-like quality to the iconography Bartlett puts in his paintings," explains curator Scott Snyder. "It is romanticized imagery with thought-provoking presence."

Born in Georgia and educated in the East, Bartlett is not yet well known in the Midwest. "But he is one of the foremost practitioners of large-scale American figurative painting and I think that the Rockford community will enjoy his work," Snyder added. American icon Andrew Wyeth, also thinks highly of Bartlett's work. "I'm a pretty critical old man. There are very few young American artists whose work I find exciting. One is my son Jamie. The other is Bo Bartlett. They've got it. It's there. Keep close watch on their future."

From top to bottom: The Boy King, 1997, oil on linen, 52 x 42 inches, collection of Jeffrey Evans Tucker; The Empress, 1997, oil on linen, 52 x 42 inches, collection of Jeffrey Evans Tucker

More on Bo Bartlett from the exhibition catalog Introduction.


Rockford Art Museum is open 11 a.m. - 5 p.m. Tuesday-Friday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, and 12-5 p.m. on Sunday. Admission is free. Rockford Art Museum is located at 711 North Main Street, Rockford, IL 61103.

For further biographical information on selected artists cited in this article please see America's Distinguished Artists, a national registry of historic artists.

rev. 7/23/10

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