Summer: Farm at Bear Mountain

David Burkiuk, Farm at Bear Mountain, 1925, Oil on burlap canvas 18 1/8 x 12 7/8 in.; 46.0375 x 32.7025 cm.. Acquired 1929.

David Burliuk’s Farm at Bear Mountain (1925) is vigorously expressionistic, using color to convey Burliuk’s intense personal feelings about the landscape. Painted with rhythmic strokes, wiry lines, and strong colors, it is an ode to nature in late summer. Its predominantly saturated verdant palette is evocative of a lush summer with plenty of sun and rain. While warm highlights on the foliage and rooftops of farm buildings capture the effects of the sun, deeper greens and blues, found in the denser areas of trees, suggest the fresh, cool air of the shade. Burliuk further increases the dynamism of the painting by using a vertical format, thus denying the viewer a panoramic vista, creating a tension with the inherit nature of landscape painting.

Summer: Black River Valley

John Marin, Black River Valley, 1913, Watercolor and graphite pencil on paper 15 1/2 x 18 3/4 in.; 39.37 x 47.625 cm.. Acquired 1926.

During summer 1913, John Marin spent the summer along the Black River in Castorland, New York, near the Adirondacks, painting the local landscape of the river valley and surrounding mountains including Black River Valley. His paintings during that summer were full of bright, luminous color, which Marin exaggerated with watercolor paint. Marin typically dated his paintings only by year, not by month or season, but his Castorland paintings are recognizable by a blue, green, and pale yellow summery palette. He used his penchant for transparent color, loose and fluid technique, admiration for cubism, and mastery of watercolor paint to create a beautifully abstracted image of the rolling hills and deep river valley, conveying the warmth of a summer day.

This work is currently on view in Made in the U.S.A.

They Came, They Saw, They Edited

Volunteers working in the library. Photo: Sarah Osborne Bender

Volunteers working in the library. Photo: Sarah Osborne Bender

On Sunday, about fifteen volunteers came to the Phillips Library to help create and expand Wikipedia articles related to American artists both in our Made in the U.S.A. exhibition and the rest of our permanent collection. It was a great day of work; many articles were improved and others created from scratch. The spirit behind Wikipedia aligns with our museum’s mission statement—a dynamic environment for collaboration, innovation, engagement with the world, scholarship, and new forms of public participation—and this was all evident here on Sunday in abundance.  Many thanks to Wikimedia DC members for being so generous with their experience and enthusiasm.