The Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum at Washington University in St. Louis is presenting a landscape show that illuminates how past American masters painted the land. Contemporary plein air artists would do well to stop in and see it.
“House in Landscape,” by John Henry Twachtman, ca. 1890, oil, 22 3/16 x 24 in. Collection the Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum, St. Louis, MO
“This exhibition explores the breadth of practices and responses to place in significant nineteenth-century American landscape paintings in the Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum and select St. Louis-area collections,” reads the wall text in the exhibition, which was curated by Karen K. Butler. Beginning with Thomas Cole, the founder of the American landscape tradition, the exhibition surveys primarily mid- to late-century examples of American frontier painting, the Hudson River school, and American Tonalism and Impressionism. From New England villages to southern bayous, from the Delaware River to to the Indian territories, these works reflect dramatic transformations in the composition of American cultural identity over the course of a century that experienced profound social change and modernization.”
“Before Sunrise (Morning Twilight, at Daybreak),” by Dwight William Tryon, 1906-1907, oil on panel, 30 1/8 x 40 1/4 in. Collection the Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum, St. Louis, MO
“Aqueduct Near Rome,” by Thomas Cole, 1832, oil, 44 1/2 x 67 5/16 in. Collection the Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum, St. Louis, MO
“Landscape (Bayou),” by Joseph Rusling Meeker, 1879, oil, 22 1/8 x 34 1/8 in. Collection the Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum, St. Louis, MO
“American Places: Painting the Landscape in the Nineteenth Century” will be on view at the Kemper Art Museum through January 6, 2014. Visit the museum’s website for more information.