High Museum of Art

Atlanta, GA





Visions of the Frontier: American Landscapes from the Collection of Ted Turner


Images of the American frontier is the theme of an exhibition at the High Museum of Art featuring more than a dozen paintings lent to the Museum by Ted Turner. The exhibition, "Visions of the Frontier: American Landscapes from the Collection of Ted Turner," will be on view exclusively at the High through August 20, 2000. The installation primarily consists of works by eminent nineteenth-century landscape painter Albert Bierstadt (1830-1902).

"We are seizing this special opportunity to bring to Atlanta wonderful works of art by important American landscape painters," said Michael E. Shapiro, Nancy & Holcombe T. Green, Jr. Director of the High Museum of Art. "Very often, such works disappear into private collections, not to be seen by the public for long stretches of time. This generous loan from Ted Turner will allow Atlantans and visitors to our city to enjoy an exceptional group of paintings," added Shapiro. (left: Albert Bierstadt, Deer at Sunset, 1887, oil on canvas, 32 x 48 inches, Collection of Ted Turner)

"Sharing this collection with Atlanta through the High Museum of Art extends my interest in public education on preserving the landscape," stated Ted Turner. "These historic pictures have an inspirational quality which can still motivate us to care for our land and maintain its splendor," added Turner.

The exhibition was coordinated by the High's Margaret and Terry Stent Curator of American Art, Linda Merrill. "Recently there has been a resurgence of interest in landscapes of the American West," stated Merrill. "Bierstadt is one of the artists that scholars are focusing on, so this exhibition will incorporate new research," noted Merrill. (left: Thomas Moran, Grand Canyon - Hance Trail, 1904, oil on canvas, 20 x 30 inches, Collection of Ted Turner)

Oil paintings displaying the depth, range and stunning beauty of untarnished American terrain, especially sublime views of mountain peaks and cascading waterfalls, characterize Turner's collection. Bierstadt's concentration on large-scale panoramic views of the West sparked a famous rivalry with his contemporary,Frederic Edwin Church.. Church was the leading member of the second-generation of Hudson River School painters and best known for his Eastern and tropical landscapes. At the same time, Bierstadt and Thomas Moran (1837-1926) were credited for introducing Easterners to the American West through their art. Moran, also represented in this show, focused much of his attention on painting scenes from what are now National Parks in the West.

The installation of sixteen paintings features thirteen Bierstadt works highlighting a range of natural wonders, including dramatic views of the West in "Buffalo on the Montana Plains" and "Liberty Cap, Yosemite," as well as "Niagara Falls from the American Side," an Eastern landscape. Thomas Moran's "Grand Canyon - Hance Trail" (1904) and "Grand Canyon" (1911) will be shown along with Jules Tavernier's "El Capitan," a painting of the Yosemite National Park marvel. (left: Albert Bierstadt, Lake Louise, ca. 1889-1892, oil on canvas, 38 x 60 inches, Collection of Ted Turner)

The exhibition is on view on the Museum's third floor, adjacent to the "Nature" section of the High's permanent collection installation, "Multiple Choices: Themes and Variations in Our Collection." The Turner Collection provides a new context for viewing the High's own permanent collection, which is already strong in American landscapes, especially Hudson River School paintings. Stars of the High's landscape collection include John Frederick Kensett's "Camel's Hump from the Western Shore of Lake Champlain" (1852), Martin Johnson Heade 's "Twilight" (1886), and William Stanley Haseltine's "The Sea from Capri" (1875). The High also owns Bierstadt's "Pioneers of the Woods" (ca. 1863-73) and "Sunrise on Lake Tahoe, California" (ca, 1863-65), and Moran's "Fingal's Cave, Island of Staffa, Scotland." These Museum holdings are on view in the permanent collection galleries. (left: Albert Bierstadt, Buffalo on the Montana Plains, ca. 1878-1882, oil on paper mounted on canvas, 14 x 19 inches, Collection of Ted Turner)

This exhibition is the latest installment in a series of exhibitions featuring loans and gifts from Atlanta-area collectors. In recent years the High has shown the Stein collection of works by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec and photographs by Walker Evans from the Hill collection.

Editor's Note: Enjoy pictures of Hudson River School paintings via the Desmond-Fish Library.

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This page was originally published in Resource Library Magazine. Please see Resource Library's Overview section for more information. rev. 3/18/11

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