DC -- Donald W. Reynolds Center for Amer Art & Portraiture -- Paintings -- Notes:
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Description of Subject Matter: Some of my favorites in this section:
Aurora Borealis (1865), Frederic Edwin Church.
The ship and sled team in this image belonged to Frederic Church's friend, polar explorer Dr. Isaac Hayes. In 1859, Church accompanied Hayes on an expedition to the Arctic, where he made the sketches for this painting. They returned from their voyage to find the country in the thick of the Civil War, and Hayes vowed in a rousing speech, "God willing, I trust yet to carry the flag of the great Republic, with not a single star erased from its glorious Union, to the extreme northern limits of the earth." Viewers understood Church's paintings of the northern lights as a symbol of the Union cause, a divine display for the northern states alone to see.
Among the Sierra Nevada, California (no date specified); Albert Bierstadt:
Albert Bierstadt's beautifully crafted paintings played to a market eager, in the 1860s, for spectacular views of the nation's frontiers. Bierstadt was an immigrant and a hardworking entrepreneur who had grown rich pairing his artistic skill with a talent for self-promotion. The unveiling of one of his canvases was a theatrical event. He sold tickets and planted news stories, strategies that one critic described as the "vast machinery of advertisement and puffery." A "great picture" was elaborately frames and installed in a room with carefully controlled lighting. At the appointed time, the work was revealed to thunderous applause.
Bierstadt painted "Among the Sierra Nevada, California" in his Rome studio, then showed the canvas in Berlin and London before shipping it to the United States. Works such as this fueled the image of America as a promised land just when Europeans were immigrating to this country in great numbers. When the painting was shown in Boston, one critic recognize that the landscape was a fiction invented from Bierstadt's sketches of the West. Nevertheless, the writer felt that it represented "what our scenery ought to be, if it ...More...
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Directly Related Pages: Other pages here that have content directly related to this one:
2006_DC_SIPG_Painting: DC -- Donald W. Reynolds Center for Amer Art & Portraiture -- Paintings (159 photos from 2006)
2007_DC_SIPG_Painting: DC -- Donald W. Reynolds Center for Amer Art & Portraiture -- Paintings (34 photos from 2007)
2008_DC_SIPG_Painting: DC -- Donald W. Reynolds Center for Amer Art & Portraiture -- Paintings (120 photos from 2008)
2009_DC_SIPG_Painting: DC -- Donald W. Reynolds Center for Amer Art & Portraiture -- Paintings (108 photos from 2009)
2010_DC_SIPG_Painting: DC -- Donald W. Reynolds Center for Amer Art & Portraiture -- Paintings (12 photos from 2010)
2011_DC_SIPG_Painting: DC -- Donald W. Reynolds Center for Amer Art & Portraiture -- Paintings (87 photos from 2011)
2012_DC_SIPG_Painting: DC -- Donald W. Reynolds Center for Amer Art & Portraiture -- Paintings (23 photos from 2012)
Generally-Related Subject Description: The country's original patent office building burned down in 1836. From 1839 to 1866, another was built. Designed by Robert Mills who also designed the Capitol and Treasury buildings, it was based in part on the design of the Parthenon with marble hallways and Doric columns. During the Civil War, it was used as both a troop barracks and a hospital; both Clara Barton and Walt Whitman nursed wounded soldiers here. Abraham Lincoln held his second inaugural ball in the main gallery in March 1865, one month before his assassination. When the building's construction was finished, it was the largest building in the country. The Patent Office moved to the Dept of Commerce building in 1932. The Civil Service Commission took over until they moved to their new headquarters in 1960. Saved from destruction by the Commission of Fine Arts, the building was turned over to the Smithsonian which established two galleries -- the National Portrait Gallery and the National Museum of American Art -- in the building.
The building closed in January 2000 for a $200 million renovation. It reopened on July 1, 2006. In the interim, it beefed up its virtual presence on the Web at http://www.npg.si.edu and had a number of exhibits have been touring the country. One of those is on American woman and "A Brush with History: Paintings from the National Portrait Gallery". In the spring of 2001, a generous $30 million donation from the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation of Las Vegas, Nevada allowed it to purchase the "Lansdowne" portrait of George Washington by Gilbert Stuart.
The building closed well before I purchased my first digital camera and once it reopened, I found myself taking lots and lots of pictures. For example, during the reopening day on July 1, 2006, I took over 3,500 pictures. To keep the numbers on each page smaller, I separated them out by theme, sometimes somewhat arbitrarily, so you'll see separate listings for:
-- America's Presidents (paintings, sculpture, etc ...More...
Generally-Related Subject Pages: Other pages here that have content somewhat related to this one:
2009_DC_SIPG_1934: DC -- Donald W. Reynolds Center -- Special Exhibits -- 1934: A New Deal for Artists (154 photos from 2009)
2008_DC_SIPG_Scholars: DC -- Donald W. Reynolds Center -- Special Exhibits -- 2008 Presidential Scholars in the Arts (5 photos from 2008)
2011_DC_SIPG_Scholars: DC -- Donald W. Reynolds Center -- Special Exhibits -- 2011 Presidential Scholars in the Arts (4 photos from 2011)
Same Subject: Click on this link to see coverage of items having the same subject:
2013 photos: So far, I'm mostly using my Fuji XS-1 camera but, depending on the event, I'm also using a Nikon D7000 and Nikon D600.
Trips this year have been limited to a Civil War Trust conference in Memphis.