Morris Museum of Art

Augusta, Georgia



Subdued Hues: Mood and Scene in Southern Landscape Painting, 1865-1925


An exhibition entitled Subdued Hues: Mood and Scene in Southern Landscape Painting, 1865-1925, will be featured at the Morris Museum of Art from November 18, 1999 through January 16, 2000. Estill Curtis Pennington, Morris Curator of Southern Painting, has selected landscapes from the Morris Museum's collection and from ten other museums and four private collections to address the question of how landscape painting in the South differed from works created in the same time period by American artists in other areas of the country.

In the foreword to the exhibition catalog, William S. Morris III, Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Morris Museum of Art, explains:

"There is something about the Southern landscape that fascinates us. Whether it is the bayous of Louisiana, the hills of Tennessee or the red clay and tall pines of Georgia, the land is important in the culture and history of the South. Artists have long been attracted to the Southern landscape, as evident in the wide range of landscape paintings in the Morris Museum's permanent collection of Southern art.
In this exhibition and catalogue, Estill Curtis Pennington, Morris Curator of Southern Painting, brings together landscapes created between 1865 and 1925, from the Morris Museum's collection and from other museums and private collections. As a native of the bluegrass region of Kentucky who now spends much of his time in Amsterdam, he brings both homegrown appreciation and the perspective of distance to his topic, exploring the image of the Southern landscape as an exotic other, a moss-hung and moon-lit world that time forgot."

Opening events will be held on Thursday, November 18, beginning with a private preview for museum members from 5:00 to 6:00 P.M. The general reception, open to non-members for a $5 fee, will be held from 6:00 to 8:00 P.M. Mr. Pennington will present a slide lecture at 6:15 P.M.

In the exhibition and the accompanying catalogue, Mr. Pennington explores the concept of landscape art as a reflection of the national mood. In a time when most American landscape painters came from a reverential tradition that found nature to be holy, images of the "exotic" South provided an escape for the popular imagination. Painters spurred on by popular culture and emerging tourism created landscape views of swamps, bayous, grasslands and mountain valleys, an "imaginary, moss-hung and moon-lit" world of image and legend.

Lenders to the exhibition include the Albright-Knox Gallery, Buffalo, New York; the Brooklyn Museum, New York; Cheekwood Tennessee Botanical Gardens and Museum of Art, Nashville; Isabel McHenry Clay; The Columbus Museum, Columbus, Georgia; Greenville County Museum of Art, Greenville, South Carolina; Mrs. Merrill Gross; Samuel P. Harn Museum of Art, Gainesville, Florida; Hunter Museum of Art, Chattanooga, Tennessee; Mint Museum of Art, Charlotte, North Carolina; Montgomery Museum of Art, Montgomery, Alabama; New Orleans Museum of Art; The Ogden Collection, New Orleans; The Speed Art Museum, Louisville, Kentucky; and the Sam and Robbie Vickers Florida Collection.

Images from top to bottom: Elliott Daingerfield, Carolina Sunlight, c. 1915, oil on canvas, 24 x 28 1/4 inches, Morris Museum of Art, 1989.01.045; Harvey Joiner, Wooded Landscape, c. 1900, oil on canvas, 28 x 40 inches, Morris Museum of Art, 1989.08.287; Richard Clague, The Shore of Lake Pontchartrain, Mandeville, c. 1865, oil on canvas, 12 x 18 inches, Morris Museum of Art, 1995.008; Elliott Daingerfield, Sunset Glory, c. 1915, oil on canvas, 27 1/2 x 33 3/4 inches, Morris Museum of Art, 1990.014

The hard-cover exhibition catalogue, titled "Subdued Hues: Mood and Scene in Southern Landscape Painting, 1865-1925," contains 60 pages, many with color illustrations. Published in 1999 by Morris Museum of Art and authored by Estill Curtis Pennington, Morris Curator of Southern Painting, the catalogue is available through the Morris Museum of Art. Mr. Pennington is the author of numerous exhibition catalogs, books and articles in the field of Southern art. He received a B.A. degree in American History and Literature from the University of Kentucky and did further study in English literature at the University of Georgia. He also studied American Culture and Art History in the Smithsonian Institution Ph.D. program at George Washington University. Prior to becoming associated with the Morris Museum of Art in I989, Mr. Pennington served on the staffs of the National Portrait Gallery and the Archives of American Art at the Smithsonian. He also has served as the Director of the Lauren Rogers Museum of Art in Laurel, Mississippi, Curator of the Ogden Collection in New Orleans, and Curator of Painting at the New Orleans Museum of Art. The ISBN number for the book is 1-890021-09-1. (left above: front cover of exhibition catalogue, containing detail of Wooded Landscape, c. 1900, by Harvey Joiner (1852-1932), oil on canvas, 28 x 40 inches, Morris Museum of Art, 1989.08.287)

rev. 12/3/99

Read more in Resource Library Magazine about the Morris Museum of Art.

For further biographical information on selected artists cited above please see America's Distinguished Artists, a national registry of historic artists.

rev. 11/22/10

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