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Frederic Church, the acclaimed Hudson River School artist, first traveled to Maine in 1850. Over the next decades Church ventured repeatedly from his New York State home, Olana, to explore the Maine coast and its rocky islands. He also frequently trekked inland to visit Mount Katahdin. Maine provided sensational sunsets, robust waves crashing on rocky shores, and an abundance of wilderness well suited to Church's artistic vision.
Maine Sublime brings together all of the artwork in the Olana collection resulting from and inspired by Churchs travels, from finished oil sketches that Church selected to mount, frame, and display at his home to pencil sketches and cartoons that he stored in portfolios. The subjects include such specific locations as Sunset Bar Harbor (1854) and works like Sunset (ca. 185265) and Twilight a Sketch (1858), which were inspired by dramatic Maine skies and are evocative of the region as a whole. Throughout his life, Church would continue to visit Maine, sketching, fishing, and hiking. In 1878 he bought land on Lake Millinocket with a view of Katahdin and built a simple cabin. After Churchs marriage in 1860, his wife Isabel often joined his excursions to Maine. In a witty cartoon included in this catalog, Frederic and Isabel Church on Mount Desert Island, Church captures his wifes admiration of the scenery.
Maine Sublime accompanies an exhibit of Churchs Maine artwork that will be displayed at the Portland Museum of Art (Portland, Maine) from June to September, 2012; the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston from February to May 2013; and the Evelyn and Maurice Sharp Gallery at Olana (Hudson, New York) from July to October, 2013.
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