"See how great artists have celebrated the beauty of nature and captured its essential role in the American experience."
This is an invitation in the fall brochure, sent out to the members of the Grand Rapids Art Museum. I have seen the show and I can say it is truly amazing. The paintings have come to us from the Museum of Fine Arts Boston which has the largest and best collection of American landscape painting of any museum in the world. The first stop for the show was in Nagoya Japan and after Grand Rapids, it will continue to other museums in the US.
I was able to sit down for coffee with Karen Quin who is the curator of painting at the MFA Boston at MadCap the other day. Talking to Karen made me realize what an important event it is to have this show in Grand Rapids for the next couple months. She also explained why George O'Keefe is the only woman represented in this show. (Apparently there is another show touring from the MFA Boston called Painting Women that has take away most of all the options they could of otherwise included.) These are paintings that most art lovers only know from art history books and now you can see them in a uniquely curated show in our own home town. There has been a long tradition of landscape painting in West Michigan for years, all the way back to Mathias Alten up to contemporary painters like Stephen Duren and Rick Stevens.
The show runs until January 12th. Do yourself a good turn and visit it several times - and while you are at it, become a member of the GRAM because it's good for you and good for the city.