The Adirondack Museum

Blue Mountain Lake, NY

(518) 352-7311




Celebrating its 40th Anniversary in 1997


In celebration of its fortieth anniversary, "These Glorious Mountains; Masterworks of the Adirondacks" will open at the Adirondack Museum on May 23 and continue through the 1997 season. Many of the museum's most important paintings will be on display as well as major works borrowed especially for the exhibit. Organized in six thematic sections, the exhibit shows how artists from the early 1800s to the 1970s celebrated the natural grandeur of Adirondack scenery and chronicled the people and settlements which transformed that landscape over time.

The museum's collection was not on view in 1996 while many frames and paintings were being conserved and the galleries renovated. Comprised of forty-nine masterworks, twelve of them loans, the new exhibit reintroduces the museum's paintings in all their glory. A tableau recreating an artist's easel set up in the landscape and a case display of artist's palettes, brushes, paints and historic photographs of artist at work simulates the experience of painting the Adirondack scene in the nineteenth century and later.

Popular paintings from the collection like Arthur Fitzwilliam Tait's Autumn Morning, Thomas Cole's Schroon Lake, Sanford R. Gifford's A Twilight in the Adirondacks, John F. Kensett's Lake George, and Homer Dodge Martin's Lake Champlain will again be on display. New acquisitions, such as Wayman Adams' portrait on Adirondack father and son, Lovitt and Son, and WPA artist Peppino Mangravite's genre scene, Family Reunion, showcase the museum's collecting activity. The museum's most recent gift in honor of its fortieth anniversary is Jonas Lie's large oil, Kamp Kill Kare, part of a series of paintings of the camp once owned by the Garvan family.

In addition, the museum is borrowing rarely exhibited works from private collections, or for sale, that tell the history of the Adirondack region. These include Asher B. Durand's Hurricane Mountain of 1848, one of the earliest paintings to document that site; John Lee Fitch's Brook in Autumn, a forest interior in Keene Valley; Alfred Thompson Bricher's Lake George, 1868; Georgia O'Keeffe's Storm Cloud, Lake George, 1923, and drawing by sculptor David Smith, who lived on Lake George -- all important Adirondack works by major nineteenth and twentieth century artists.

Borrowed from the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Museum of the City of New York respectively are Winslow Homer's Campfire, 1877, and a portrait of entrepreneur David Henderson painted by Charles Cromwell Ingham in the 1830s. These two works bring to the museum a large-scale early Homer oil of a Keene Valley scene, and a portrait of a man whose name is identified with one of the earliest and largest mining operations in the Adirondacks.

Writing in 1860, S. H. Hammond thus characterized the Adirondack mountains, "Their bare and rocky summits glistening in the sunlight....The rugged and sublime, with the placid and beautiful, in natural scenery, are magnificently mingled in these surroundings...." For nearly two hundred years images of the Adirondacks have been captured on canvas or paper. Few other regions have served America's artists for so long or with so many subjects as the Adirondacks. At the Adirondack Museum overlooking spectacularly beautiful Blue Mountain Lake, "These Glorious Mountains" will be here for all to see.

Read more about The Adirondack Museum in Resource Library Magazine

Search for more articles and essays on American art in Resource Library. See America's Distinguished Artists for biographical information on historic artists.

This page was originally published in 1997 in Resource Library Magazine. Please see Resource Library's Overview section for more information.

Copyright 2012 Traditional Fine Arts Organization, Inc., an Arizona nonprofit corporation. All rights reserved.