Belknap and Covi Galleries, Allen R. Hite Art Institute

University of Louisville

Louisville, KY



Nana Lampton: Travel Sketches and Paintings


From November 10th through December 15th, 2000 the University of Louisville's Hite Art Institute exhibited work by artist Nana Lampton. This exhibition included 53 works, the bulk of which were plein air watercolors and pen or ink sketches, with a limited number of large scale oil paintings worked up in the studio. Nana Lampton's work documents her world travels, with visits to such far away places as: Kenya, Africa; Tokyo Bay, Japan; Bucharest, Romania; India; Czechoslovakia; and many more. (left: cutline pending)

Nana Lampton is Chair and CEO of American Life and Accident Insurance Company of Kentucky, and serves on many boards of business corporations and nonprofit organizations. A graduate of Louisville Collegiate School, she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in English literature at Wellesley College (1964) and a Master of Arts degree in English Literature at the University of Virginia (1965). She completed another year of graduate study in English and Writing, also at the University of Virginia (1965-66), and further study in the Smaller Company Management Program at Harvard University's Graduate School of Business Administration (1973-79). She credits her mother for her first instruction in painting, and Louisville Collegiate School, Wellesley College, the Corcoran School of Art and the Louisville Visual Art Association for further study in art. She continues to obtain advice and coaching in painting from Lloyd Kelly, who teaches at Spalding University. (left: Merindol des Oliviers, France, oil on canvas, 24x 36 inches)


Excerpt from Essay by Dario A. Covi, Curator of Exhibition

"We are pleased to present this exhibition of travel sketches and paintings by Nancy (Nana) Lampton. Her first major show, they were selected from a large "stock" of sketches and paintings produced by her over the past two decades. Some of the sketches served as images for reproduction in "notebooks" (three Notebooks are included in the exhibition), sometimes accompanied by handwritten titles, descriptions or pertinent observations, to be presented to family and friends. Some were worked up in oil paintings on canvas. The original sketches, mostly executed in watercolor, often combined with pen or brush and ink or marker, are relatively small and convey the spontaneity of fresh observation. The oil paintings, invariably larger, present a grander, more studied view of the same or related subjects. It may thus be said that the choice of media and scale is a determining factor of Nana's stylistic approach. Overall, however, the most significant determinant is the vision she brings to bear in depicting her subjects, a vision of nature as seen through the eyes of a poet. (left: cutline pending)

"While Nana's travel sketches and paintings belong to a centuries - old tradition - witness Delacroix's Algerian sketches, Ruskin's views of Venice, Duerer's drawings of the Italian Alps or earlier still, Villard de Honnecourt's drawings of medieval churches, to name a few - her travel sketches and paintings express not so much archaeological curiosity, romantic search for the exotic, or interest in the ways of faraway people, but rather the need to record her response to nature. "The key to my psychic security is the beauty of the landscape," she wrote in a statement for this exhibition. "I've lived on a farm all my life and find the patterns of the sun and moon important to my well-being. I watch the change of seasons and the way of the river as well as the lay of the fields. These are my touchstones." (left: Riding, Soyans, France, oil on canvas, 24 x 36 inches)

"(I wish to thank Mr. Lloyd Kelly for assistance in selecting the works to be exhibited.)"


Read more about the Belknap and Covi Galleries, Allen R. Hite Art Institute, University of Louisville in Resource Library Magazine

Please click on thumbnail images bordered by a red line to see enlargements.

This page was originally published in Resource Library Magazine. Please see Resource Library's Overview section for more information. rev. 5/23/11

Search Resource Library for thousands of articles and essays on American art.

Copyright 2011 Traditional Fine Arts Organization, Inc., an Arizona nonprofit corporation. All rights reserved.