The Academy Art Museum in Easton, MD, was the fortunate recipient of two recent gifts of artwork: Greg Mort’s Afterglow and Patricia Tobacco Forrester’s Avila. Inspired by these gifts, the Museum has brought together 10 more works from its permanent collection that feature trees and forests in its new exhibition, Out on a Limb: Forests and Trees from the Permanent Collection, through October 16, 2011.
In the European tradition, the representation of trees and forests as an expressive element or independent theme has origins in the art of Renaissance and Baroque Germany and the Netherlands. Artists like Albrecht Altdorfer (1480 – 1538), Albrecht Dürer (1471 – 1528), and others developed the idea that a pure landscape could stand alone as a subject. Frequently these artists employed prints (woodblocks, etchings, engravings) as the medium to investigate the expressive possibilities of trees and forests. In the 17th century Rembrandt (1606 – 1669) and his Dutch contemporaries composed scenes of humble rural life that were often dominated by trees. Human activity is diminished in the face of larger natural forces.
The 10 artists in this exhibition draw on those traditions and other later artistic movements as varied as Romanticism, Abstract-Expressionism, and Minimalism in their depictions of trees and forests. Many of these works have an autumnal quality, with trees that hold few or no leaves, and seem to invite reflection and contemplation. Others reflect a sense of wonder at the power of nature. Another group suggests a natural harmony between human activity and the forest. Together they present a richness of arboreal images and ideas.
Admission to the Museum is $3 for non–members, children under 12 admitted free. The Museum is open Monday and Friday, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. with extended hours on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. Saturday and Sunday hours are 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. The First Friday of each month, the Museum is open until 7 p.m. The Museum is located at 106 South St., Easton, MD, 21601. For general Museum information, call 410-822-ARTS (2787) or visit: www.academyartmuseum.org.
In photo: Pictured is Patricia Tobacco Forrester’s Avila, 1990, watercolor, a recent gift of artwork from Steven Scott to the Academy Art Museum’s permanent collection in Easton, MD. The painting is currently part of an exhibition, Out on a Limb: Forests and Trees from the Permanent Collection, on display at the Museum through October 16, 2011.