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Down on the Farm

 

An exhibition centering on farm scenes is currently on exhibition in the Brainard Gallery of the Tarble Arts Center, Eastern Illinois University.  The exhibition continues through  January 26, 2003. 

Drawn from art work in the Tarble's permanent collection, the exhibition "Down on the Farm" presents recent acquisitions as well as favorite works.  The exhibition also gives a glimpse at the four major concentrations of the collection:  Illinois folk arts, paintings by Paul T. Sargent and Robert M. Root, American Scene works on paper, and contemporary works on paper. (right: Robert M. Root, October in Illinois)

The recent acquisitions are "Spring on the Farm" a 1945 oil painting by early 20th century Charleston artist Paul T. Sargent and the acrylic painting "The Planter" by contemporary artist Donna Atwood.  The Sargent painting was donated to the collection by Gift of Judy Jorgenson from the estate of and in memory of Mildred and A. Glenn Hesler.  Former Charleston resident Mary Hamel donated the Atwood painting, as well as a Sargent painting exhibited earlier this year in the Sargent exhibition drawn from area collections.

From the Folk Arts Collection are paintings by Jennie Cell (Charleston), Mary Eveland (Pekin) and Minnie Burrows (Neoga), and wood carvings by Ferd Metten (Teutopolis) and Arthur Walker (Sullivan).  All artists are deceased.  Merle Glick donated the Eveland painting, the Burrows painting was donated by the late Ben Watkins, and Hazel Walker donated the Walker carving in memory of her late husband.  The Cell and Metten pieces were purchased through a grant from the Charles E. Merrill Trust.

Probably the best known artists represented in the exhibition are Grant Wood, Thomas Hart Benton, and John Steuart Curry, the leaders of the Regionalists from the American Scene movement.  Their lithographs, along with one by Julian Levi, are all from the Tarble's American Scene collection and date from the 1930s and '40s.  These prints were purchased by Eastern in the 1940s and '50s, and were under the stewardship of EIU Art faculty member Lynn Trank who is now retired. Trank is represented in the exhibition by a casein painting he did about 1945 and donated to the Tarble collection.  From a slightly earlier period is an oil painting by Shelbyville artist Robert M. Root, a bequest of Maurice Cook in memory of Robert C. and Clara De Lap Cook. (right: William Butler, Apple Picker)

The contemporary art in the exhibition includes a color intaglio by James Butler, four etchings by Jamie Wyeth, a watercolor by William Butler, and a large acrylic painting by Harriet Rex-Smith.  Wyeth is the son of Andrew Wyeth and grandson of N.C. Wyeth.  His etchings were donated by  Jeffrey G. Scott, a 1968 EIU alumnus.  James Butler, on the Art faculty at Illinois State University, donated his intaglio while serving as a visiting artist at EIU.  William Butler and Rex-Smith's paintings were the Newton E. Tarble Memorial Best-Of-Show Purchase Award from the 11th Biennial Drawing/Watercolor: Illinois, and the EIU Purchase Award Seven for Seventy-Six Regional Art Exhibition, respectively.

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