The Fall Exhibition at the Morse Museum of American Art The Stebbins collection: a gift for the Morse museum opens on November 9. The exhibition features the exquisite collection assembled by Theodore E. Stebbins Jr. and Susan Cragg Stebbins over fifty-five years. As announced in March of this year, the Stebbins donated sixty-five works and loaned five more. Curated by Morse Curator of American Painting, Dr. Regina Palm, this exhibition presents these American works of art as part of the Morse Collection in Winter Park, Florida, presenting them to the public for the first time.
The Stebbins collection: a gift for the Morse museum consists of seventy paintings, works on paper and sculptures by fifty-three artists in three galleries of the museum. The exhibition was organized in the same way that the works were presented in the house of Stebbins. Rather than being classified chronologically, by genre or by medium, the works are rather presented in thematic groupings and thoughtful juxtapositions.
Dr Palm said: “The really wonderful thing about this exhibition is that it celebrates not only artists of great renown, but also artists who, although perhaps less well known today, have excelled in their work. areas. In fact, they matched, if not surpassed, their contemporaries, whose names are more familiar. A gift like the Stebbins Collection allows the Morse Museum to build upon and expand the visual narrative told in its galleries, bringing new perspectives and many surprises.
The first gallery serves as an introduction to the Stebbins gift, highlighting the breadth of the collection. It includes landmark works by floral painters George Cochran Lambdin (1830-96), including the 1874 painting Calla lilies takes center stage, alongside works by Fidelia Bridges (1834-1923) and Martin Johnson Heade (1819-1904). Relief sculpture by Thomas Eakins Arcadia, 1883, enriches the space with luminous landscapes by Thomas Moran (1837-1926) and others. The portraits of brooding children by Seymour Joseph Guy (1824-1910) and Ignaz Gaugengigl (1855-1932) and a pet by Frederic Edwin Church (1826-1900), head of the Hudson River School, represent a different kind of painting in the gallery. Finally, still lifes by John Frederick Peto (1854-1907) and Arnoud Wydeveld (1823-1888) are presented.
The largest gallery in the exhibition features a selection of works on paper that include a sketch by Lilly Martin Spencer (1822-1902), including Ophelia’s haunting rendering of Hamlet is encountered by the equally striking nude executed by William Morris Hunt (1824-1879) during a stay in France. A playful rendering of a butterfly, created as a keepsake for a party guest, by Albert Bierstadt (1830-1902) is a surprising departure from the Hudson River School artist’s landscapes which are also in the exhibition. Additional paintings and drawings provide insight into the American Civil War. Moving landscapes by Heade, Worthington Whittredge (1820-1910) and George Inness (1825-1994) are included, as well as evocative depictions of America by artists such as Ralph Albert Blakelock (1847-1919), including Old farm, vs. 1870-1875, recalls that poverty was widespread even during America’s golden age. Sanford Robinson Gifford’s Bright Dream Chillon Castle, painted in 1859, serves to anchor other works by Whittredge, John Frederick Kensett (1816-1872) and John William Hill (1812-1879). This gallery ends with paintings and sculptures that focus on domestic scenes, most notably the portrait by Hubert von Herkomer of two sisters from a prominent German banking family. This work by Herkomer (1849-1914) is striking, with direct gazes meeting those of the viewer, while the 1902 sculpture by Bessie Potter Vonnoh Inducted relays a classic vision of motherly love through an exalted Madonna motif.
The final gallery showcases the work of still life artists who range from some of the best known in American art like John La Farge (1835-1910) and Joseph Decker (1853-1924) to some little known like William Oscar Roelecke ( 1833 –1910) and James Cafferty (1819–69). La Farge Apple blossoms and field flowers, ch. 1870, is a poetic interpretation told visually through the blurred lens of the Impressionists while demonstrating the artist’s admiration for Japanese art through its flattened perspective. Vegetables on a white tablecloth, 1889, a rare example of a plant still life, by Roelecke is a striking composition in which the artist drew inspiration from the Spanish tradition of the bodegon, positioning the humblest of kitchen staples like subjects worthy of a still life, dramatically lit on a crisp tablecloth. Decker Cherries, 1886, offers viewers a profusion of succulent fruit so deliciously rendered that they are almost convinced they can be plucked from the painting. Meanwhile, Cafferty’s Citrus fruits, ch. The 1850s, with its lemons, mandarins, etc. incredibly perfect, are remarkably modern in execution, suggesting future stylistic changes to come in the still life. Interspersed with these abundant representations of fruits and flora, landscapes and seascapes illustrate the artistic range of artists such as Henry Roderick Newman (1843-1917) and Elihu Vedder (1836-1923).
“The Morse presents this exhibit from the Stebbins Collection, an extremely generous gift of exquisite works of art bearing intellectual understanding, historical perspective, visual sensibility and fine sensibility, to our community with great pride and enthusiasm as well as the confidence that everyone who visits will have a rich and rewarding experience, ”said Dr. Laurence Ruggiero, director of the Morse Museum.
Appointments can now be made in advance by visiting admissions.morsemuseum.org/mainstore. For more information on walrus, please visit morsemuseum.org.