Arts and Culture

Shani Gilchrist

SOUTH CAROLINA INSIDER

 

America’s landscape masterpieces visit Greenville for the summer

Posted 6/21/2013 3:58:00 PM

The Greenville County Museum of Art has been lining up some heavy-hitting exhibitions that will remain through the summer.

This week, “Masterpieces of American Landscape from The Museum of Fine Arts Boston” opened to an eager audience. The exhibition features works by the artists of the famous Hudson River School, which was the first coherent school of American art. The movement started with the works of Thomas Cole and Asher B. Durand in the early to mid-19th century and set the tone for the dominance of landscape painting through this era.

The Hudson River painters’ work had roots in European Romanticism, which can be credited with bringing landscape paintings out of the “lowly” status bestowed on the genre by the cultural bastions of the day. By the time Thomas Cole and his contemporaries were using the idea as a basis, they were adding unique elements that would make the movement uniquely American. The artists celebrated the wonders of nature in North America, depicting the beauty of its “vast wildness”, which, in many ways was a metaphor for the pioneering mindset of the people living here.

More than 60 works are included in the exhibition, which includes Cole, Frederic Edwin Church and Albert Bierstadt. Also included are works of art that show the influence of the school, such as photography by Ansel Adams and paintings by Georgia O’Keefe and Winslow Homer. The exhibition will run through Sept. 15 at the museum, which is located at 420 College St. in Greenville. For more information, please visit the museum website.