March 3, 2003
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
NEW EXHIBITION AT THE WILDLING ART MUSEUM TO FEATURE
WILDERNESS ART FROM MEMBERS’ COLLECTIONS
Los Olivos ~ Called “Members Collect,” the spring exhibition at the Wildling Art Museum opened March 16 included a group of historic paintings, prints, and drawings featuring America’s wild creatures and wild places borrowed from the private collections of Museum members.
Approximately 22 works were included in the exhibition, curated by Board member, Bruce McCurdy, a former member of the art faculty at UCSB. In his canvassing of members’ collections, McCurdy discovered some gems. The oldest works in the collection were hand-colored prints by George Catlin and Carl Bodmer, recording images of bison seen on the prairie in the 1830’s and 1840’s. Another early work was a signed etching by Thomas Moran of Half-Dome, Yosemite, dated 1887. This image was based on an earlier watercolor, now in the collection of the Smithsonian. The largest painting, Edgar Payne’s four-foot square canvas, “Sierra Summer,” was being lent to the Museum from the Lindsay Art Association and Lindsay Cultural Arts Council where one of the Wildling Museum members is an officer. Another southern California Impressionist, Elmer Wachtel, was represented by an oil, “Alpine Lake.”., Some of the artists whose works were included in the exhibition, such as John Gamble, Lockwood de Forest, Clarence Hinkle John Gorham, and Douglas Shively, were active in the Santa Barbara area and painted Santa Barbara subjects. Others, such as J. W. Rix, Fremont Ellis, Mary DeNeale Morgan, Thomas Hart Benton, and Maynard Dixon, achieved their reputations elsewhere in the country.
The exhibition includes two very beautiful etchings by Roi Partridge, a consummate print-maker, who taught for many years at Mills College, and was the founder of the art gallery there. An opening reception, honoring the collectors who have lent their treasures to the Museum for this exhibition, was held March 16, 3-5 p.m. A short concert of American music was presented by the new Family School Performing Chorus at 3:30 p.m. The public was invited to both events.