American Legacy: Our National Parks - On Location with the Plein-Air Painters of America at the Michele & Donald D'Amour Museum of Fine Arts

American Legacy: Our National Parks – On Location with the Plein-Air Painters of America

May 24, 2011–November 6, 2011 D'Amour Museum of Fine Arts » Second Floor

Michele & Donald D’Amour Museum of Fine Arts, Second Floor

This exhibition includes 94 paintings of the most beautiful natural scenery in the United States by members or guests of the Plein-Air Painters of America. Each of the 35 artists represented selected a favorite park to document, and their paintings depict sites from across the country.

The term plein-air is used for a painting done in the open air rather than in the studio. Beginning in the early 1800s, as America was expanding westward, lengthy survey expeditions were conducted to measure the land and draw up maps of the territories. In addition to surveyors, cartologists, geologists, and naturalists, the expeditions included artists to pictorially record the appearance of the land. Their color paintings provided the public with their first view of the grandeur and beauty of the American West.

Artist Thomas Moran’s 19th-century paintings of the geysers and towering waterfalls of the Yellowstone Valley were instrumental in the creation of our nation’s first national park. Since then, artists have joined naturalists and preservationists in convincing American presidents and legislators to set aside more than 350 locations as part of our American Legacy.

An exhibition catalogue is available in the Museum Store.

Organized by the Haggin Museum, Stockton, California. Tour Management by Smith Kramer Fine Art Services, Kansas City, Missouri.

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