WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – Reynolda House continues to celebrate its centennial, this time with an exhibition of the work of one of the 19th century’s most famous artists, Frederic Church.
“Frederic Church was the most popular artist in the United States in the mid-19th century,” says Ken Myers, Curator of the exhibition for the Institute. “The less studied, but, to my mind, incredibly important, part of his career is works he did after his 1867 to 69 trip to the Middle East.”
Reynolda House is one of the three venues for the exhibition and the only venue in the Southeast of the United States.
Allison Slaby, Reynolda House Curator, says the centennial was on opportunity for the museum to ‘go big.’ Last fall, the museum exhibited ‘Georgia O’Keefe: Living Modern’ as part of its celebration.
“The reason we wanted these two exhibitions in particular is because both O’Keefe and Frederic Church are centra to Reynolda’s collection,” Slaby said.
Church’s exhibition features 51 paintings, including pencil and oil drafts and studies, done during and after the artist’s trip to the Middle East, Rome and Greece in the late 1800s.
The three main paintings inspired by Church’s trip are characterized by their dramatic, large-scale views of places unexplored by American artists at that time, such as Jerusalem and The Parthenon in Greece.
According to Slaby, Church was the first major artist to paint The Parthenon, “and that was something few Americans had seen.”
The landscapes combine powerful natural landscapes with architectural details of ancient cities and temples, unlike the details in Church’s pieces from his trip to South America, such as the one featured in Reynolda’s very own collection, “The Andes of Ecuador.”
The last section in the in the exhibition is the ‘Imagined Landscapes,’ which includes 'Syria By The Sea' the epitome of that mixture in both natural and architectural details resulting in a dramatic and captivating work.
“The last parts of the exhibition are these incredible, luminous, glowing landscapes that really came out of both his travel and his imagination,” Slaby added.
According to Sarah Smith, Director of External Relations at Reynolda House, the museum will be closing at 8 p.m. on Thursdays for the duration of the exhibition. The Museum’s normal hours are Tuesday-Saturday 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Sunday 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
► Make it easy to keep up to date with more stories like this. Download the WFMY News 2 App now
Copyright 2017 WFMY