Exploring the Land: Landscapes from the Hunter collection

December 1 through April 28, 2013

Exploring the Land documents American artists’ continuing fascination with the American landscape.  Some of the featured paintings, drawings and photographs from the Hunter collection have rarely been seen, others are old favorites.  A handful of works are either new acquisitions or have never been on view before.

The breadth of the work, which includes both 19th and 20th century pieces, allows for some interesting comparisons. For example, a small painting of a forest interior done by Worthington Whittredge in 1862 expresses the Hudson River School philosophy of the grandeur of the American land, our New Eden.  The presence of God in nature is hinted at by the cathedral like arching of the boughs of the trees.  In three large, striking photographs, contemporary photographer Robert Glenn Ketchum deliberately revisits the sites where these earlier artists painted.  Although, the Hunter photographs show pristine woodland scenes, other images of the Hudson River Valley by Ketchum show how pollution has marred this iconic region in the twentieth century. His also likens his images of densely wooded areas to abstract paintings in their emphasis on patterns and texture.

Other artists represented in the exhibition include Ansel Adams, Robert S. Duncanson, William Henry Jackson, Mark Peiser, Paul Stankard, David Maxim and Don Powers.

Exploring the Land was created to complement the exhibition Beauty Beyond Nature:  The Glass Art of Paul Stankard.  Stankard’s amazing paperweight sculptures investigate nature and the American land on a microscopic level.

Ansel Adams, Moonrise, Hernandez, New Mexico, 1941, gelatin silver print photograph, Collection of the Hunter Museum of American Art, Gift of Dr. and Mrs. Bruce E. Dahrling, II and Museum Purchase 1984.25