On vacation last week in Upstate New York, I climbed the gorge at Watkins Glen State Park, spotting many pools that brought to mind John Twachtman’s The Emerald Pool (ca. 1895). Of course, Twachtman’s pool was likely a hot spring and surrounded by the open and dry dirt ground of Yellowstone Park and not the dark, wet stone and lush greenery of the glen. But the beautiful emerald effect of deep pooling water immediately brought this painting to my mind. Duncan Phillips was a great admirer of Twachtman, hanging The Emerald Pool in an esteemed spot alongside Monet for many years. And Marjorie Phillips recorded in her book that, after a visit to the Phillips in 1926, Pierre Bonnard said that it was his favorite American painting.
Prepare to be awed. Picturing the Sublime: Photographs from the Joseph and Charlotte Lichtenberg Collection is now open. Here’s just a taste, but be warned: these photos reveal much more when viewed up close. For a smaller show (eleven works in total), I’m surprised by the range in content—there’s everything from the raw and untouched beauty of Richard Misrach‘s deserts to Edward Burtynsky‘s landscapes, so altered by human activity that I almost feel guilty calling them beautiful. The exhibition is on view through January 13, 2013, and on November 15 exhibition curator Susan Behrends Frank discusses the photographers and their works in a Curator’s Perspective.
Amy Wike, Publicity and Marketing Coordinator
Like many other D.C. area residents, I made my way in to work this morning from an electricity-free neighborhood, past a lot of large broken trees and a smashed car, and through some dark intersections. Friday night’s weather is still being felt. With weather on the brain, I decided to search our collection to see what images we have of storms aside from those I’m familiar with. I found it interesting that we have three works in the collection called Approaching Storm by three very different artists. But maybe I should be looking ahead, thinking positive, and instead find images of electricity.