The Hyde Museum


Painting Lake George, 1774-1900

June 05, 2005 - August 04, 2005

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The exhibition explores the extraordinary depth and range of paintings that depict the history and landscapes of the "Queen of American Lakes". Organized by Hyde curator Erin Budis Coe, this exhibition will feature a diverse selection of paintings on loan from major museums, galleries, and private collections. The works on view will document a unique selection of styles and interpretations of Lake George, New York – from the breathtaking presentations of sky, mountain, and lake, to the dramatic storms, to the more intimate genre scenes. In addition a small selection of watercolors, prints, photographs, and archival documents will round out the visual presentation.

The exhibition is divided into four thematic sections. Nostalgia for a Brave Beginning will share early views of the lake that commemorate its role in American history. A Sublime Beauty will group landscapes by artists who envisioned the lake as an unspoiled wilderness. A Pastoral Paradise will present depictions of Lake George as the embodiment of the agrarian ideal. Lastly, Life Along the Lake will examine close-up views and common scenes of picnics and boating parties. Featured artists include: Ezra Ames, Julie Hart Beers, James Buttersworth, Thomas Cole, Jasper F. Cropsey, Asher B. Durand, Sanford R. Gifford, John Henry Hill, David Johnson, and John F. Kensett, among many others.

In the past, exhibitions devoted to American landscape painting have chiefly focused on the diverse scenery of the Hudson River School, the first landscape painting movement in America. Beginning with Thomas Cole, every Hudson River School artist visited and painted Lake George. Yet the lake has received little attention, leaving a considerable gap in the art historical record. Painting Lake George and the accompanying fully illustrated 88-page catalogue will present new research on the artistic, cultural, and social history of the lake. Authored by Erin Budis Coe and guest essayist and consulting scholar Gwendolyn Owens, the catalogue will also include a census of over 750 paintings compiled by The Hyde Collection. The catalogue is available for purchase in the Museum Store or by calling 518-792-1761, ext. 31. Over a period of years, The Hyde has collected information about all known paintings of Lake George in order to have a broader understanding of how the lake was portrayed during the nineteenth century.

History, Culture, Nature, and The Queen of American Lakes
September 10, 2005 • 9:30am - 4pm • The Hyde Collection

To celebrate the closing of the exhibition Painting Lake George: 1774-1900, The Hyde Collection will host a symposium that will explore new approaches to the cultural and natural history of the area. History, Culture, Nature, and The Queen of American Lakes will feature three guest lecturers: Kevin J. Avery, Associate Curator, Department of American Paintings and Sculpture, The Metropolitan Museum of Art; Peter L. Marks, Professor, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Cornell University; and Michael Kammen, Newton C. Farr Professor of American History and Culture, Cornell University. The day will conclude with a panel discussion moderated by Erin Budis Coe, Hyde curator, and Gwendolyn Owens, consulting scholar and guest essayist. Call Sara Hallberg for more information or to register - 518-792-1761, ext. 27.