Frederic Edwin Church | American Art Exhibition | Olana State Historic Site

The Olana State Historic Site to Welcome “The Maine Sublime”!

Chelsea DeLay | May 13th, 2013 | Posted in News

Prepare to be wowed by a beautiful selection of Maine scenes painted by Frederic Edwin Church that are part of an upcoming exhibition organized by the Olana Partnership and the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. Opening at the Evelyn and Maurice Sharp Gallery at the Olana State Historic Site on June 9, 2013, Maine Sublime: Frederic Church’s Landscapes of Mount Desert and Mount Katahdin will feature 23 paintings and sketches that Church produced in Maine throughout the second half of the nineteenth century. This exhibition highlights two specific locations that were the inspiration for some of Church’s best landscape paintings: Mount Desert and Mount Katahdin.  The curator of Maine Sublime is renowned art historian and professor of American art Dr. John Wilmerding, whose expertise adds a rich historical and personal context to the works on display; Wilmerding successfully organized the exhibition to subtly highlight the civic and personal influences that motivated Church’s depictions of Mount Desert and Mount Katahdin.

As an American landscape artist, Church learned his trade from the best of the best, Thomas Cole, father of the Hudson River School.  The impact of Cole’s instruction is clearly evident in Church’s early Maine scenes and is seen in the sweeping atmospheric perspective and glowing colors used in works such as Sunset, Bar Harbor.  There is no doubt that the calm harbors and rocky shores along the Maine coast inspired Church, and his ability to capture the area’s peaceful serenity on canvas is fascinating to behold.  Church spent the later years of his career venturing inland to take in the looming views surrounding Mount Katahdin—he returned to the area frequently enough to justify purchasing property on Lake Millinocket in 1878, which was the only other property he owned besides Olana. Maine Sublime is an exhibition that not only glorifies the natural beauty of Maine, but also accentuates Church’s keen eye for detail that infused his landscapes with a sense of unbridled magnificence.

This is the debut exhibition for several of the pieces in Maine Sublime, and with additional works on loan from the Portland Museum of Art  and the National Gallery of Art, this show is an opportunity to see a high-quality selection of rare Frederic Church paintings.  An added bonus to visiting this exhibition? A trip to Olana, where the views and fresh air will be a welcome retreat from the hustle and bustle of everyday life!

 

Frederic Edwin Church, Sunset, Bar Harbor, c. September 1854, oil on paper mounted on canvas, 10 1/8 x 17 ¼ in., OL.1981.72, Collection of Olana State Historic Site, NYSOPRHP [Note:  This work was mounted and framed by Frederic Church for display on the walls on his home at Olana.  It is being exhibited alongside the related pencil sketch.]

Frederic Edwin Church, Sunset, Bar Harbor, c. September 1854, oil on paper mounted on canvas, 10 1/8 x 17 ¼ in., OL.1981.72, Collection of Olana State Historic Site, NYSOPRHP
[Note: This work was mounted and framed by Frederic Church for display on the walls on his home at Olana. It is being exhibited alongside the related pencil sketch.]

Frederic Edwin Church, Wood Interior on Mount Turner, c. 1877, oil and graphite on paper mounted on canvas, 12 5/16 x 20 5/16 in., OL.1980.1869, Collection of Olana State Historic Site, NYSOPRHP [Note:  This work has been conserved and will be on view for the first time with a historic replica frame donated by Eli Wilner]

Frederic Edwin Church, Wood Interior on Mount Turner, c. 1877, oil and graphite on paper mounted on canvas, 12 5/16 x 20 5/16 in., OL.1980.1869, Collection of Olana State Historic Site, NYSOPRHP
[Note: This work has been conserved and will be on view for the first time with a historic replica frame donated by Eli Wilner]

 

 

 

Chelsea DeLay is a Researcher at Questroyal Fine Art. Chelsea earned her MA in art business at Sotheby’s Institute of Art in New York, and her BA in art history and classical studies. Her interest in American paintings first began while working at an auction house on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, and has multiplied exponentially since joining the Questroyal team.