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Landscape Images are Focus of Museum Art Exhibition

(Posted April 1, 2003)

HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- These days, images from paintings and photography often are quickly adapted and appropriated with what seems like lighting speed by other media such as television, film and magazines. In a new exhibition at the Juniata College Museum of Art, visitors can see how the work of artists of the early 19th century also had their work adapted for other uses in the exhibit "Thomas Cole and the Dissemination of American Landscape Imagery," which runs from April 4 through Sept. 13 at the museum.

A reception for the exhibition will be held from 7 to 8:30 p.m., Friday, April 4 at the museum. The reception is free and open to the public.

The artworks on display include works by Cole, Asher Brown Durand, Albert Bierstadt, John William Casilear and many other early American landscape artists. One of the highlights of the exhibition displays how a drawing by Cole, "Scene in the Alleghany Mountains" formed the basis for a now-lost painting, an engraving used in the book "The History and Topography of the United States," and ultimately became the pattern for sets of soup plates created by a pottery company in Stafffordshire, England.

The evidence of how Cole's work was used in a variety of forms also makes it clear that American landscape imagery helped educate the American public about the uniqueness and value of the United States' natural resources during a period of time (1820 to 1860) when nationalism in America was on the rise.

The works of other American landscape painters also were used in a variety of forms and products. Cole, considered "the father of the Hudson River School," became the leading figure in landscape painting, but other artists such as Bierstadt, Casilear, Jervis McEntee and Thomas Moran produced painted and engraved works that focused on American scenery.

The use of these landscape images as book illustrations, dinnerware, engravings and in other mediums also led to an interest in the watercolor or painted "sketches" that landscape artists used as memory aids for the completion of larger-scale paintings.

The exhibit at the Juniata museum, taken from the college's Worth B. Stottlemyer Collection and the museum's permanent collection, show a wide range of examples of finished compositions, painted studies, watercolor sketches and other works from these early American landscape artists.

The exhibit is sponsored by Kish Bank, which provided funding for the cleaning and conservation of the works in the exhibition.

The Juniata College Museum of Art is located in historic Carnegie Hall at 17th and Moore streets in Huntingdon. Museum hours are Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Saturday, noon to 4 p.m. Summer hours are Wednesday through Friday from noon to 4 p.m. starting May 1 through August. For more information, please call the museum at (814) 641-3505, or visit the Juniata College Web site at http://www.juniata.edu/museum.

Contact John Wall at wallj@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3132 for more information.