Monday, May 23, 2016

"The Frugal Meal" and other Utah Art

Rose Hartwell: "The Frugal Meal" (1903) depicts a modest family eating spaghetti. 
Detail from "The Frugal Meal." I find the subject matter very interesting.
Perhaps the scene reflects Hartwell's experience as an art student in Italy.
I wouldn't have expected to see pasta on the table in 1903 in Utah.
At the Brigham Young University Art Museum today I saw two extraordinary temporary exhibits about art in the Western United States, and I learned about two very interesting Utah women artists.

Rose Hartwell (1861-1917) was the daughter of early Utah pioneers; though born into the Mormon faith, she left the LDS church at an early age. According to information from the museum:
"After her father took a second wife, Rose’s mother took her ten children and left the Church. In her early twenties, Rose began studying art under two well-established Utah artists, J.T. Harwood and J. Willard Clawson. With their encouragement, she traveled to Paris to study at the Académie Julian, a progressive art school that was the first to enroll female students. After a trip to Italy, she returned to Paris and in 1903, entered her first painting in the Paris Salon." (source)
Minerva Teichert (1888-1976), a Utah painter trained in New York, was also new to me. Her work was featured in one of the two exhibits I saw today, as well as in the permanent collections.

Minerva Teichert: "Moving South" (1949)
A Western scene that echoes the imagery of Hollywood Westerns.
"Branding the American West: Paintings and Films 1900-1950" was a compelling exhibit interspersing paintings from the New Mexican Taos Society of Artists; the California-based artist, Maynard Dixon; and several Utah painters whose works are in the museum's collections, including Teichert. Clips from a few early films were shown alongside works that echoed the filmic version of Western scenery, American Indian life, and cowboy culture from both fiction and reality.

WPA poster for Zion National Park.
Finally, I spent quite a bit of time viewing the art works in "Capturing the Canyons: Artists in the National Parks," the museum's other special exhibit. It included a number of posters for travel in the National Parks. This included posters for the railroads as well as several from the WPA series that have recently been rediscovered.

The exhibit included many very impressive paintings and a few photos of Zion, Bryce Canyon, Yellowstone, Yosemite, and other parks. Early paintings, especially those painted before the parks were founded were impressive, but there were also quite a few very nice modern images included. I especially liked the wide variety of painting styles that were represented in the exhibit.

As I learned at Dinosaur National Monument, this year is the 100th anniversary of Woodrow Wilson's signing of the act creating the National Park System, so there are many commemorations including this.


~~louise~~ said...

Hi Mae,
I see you're in Utah these days:) It's such a beautiful state with so much to see. I have my heart set on one day visiting Goblin Valley State Park. I hear it's amazing!!!

I've yet to visit the Brigham Young University Art Museum. Michele has taken the kids there a few times and they truly enjoyed it. (Noah is a budding Artist:)

It's wonderful to discover new artists especially when they captivate you. It sounds like you're enjoying your visit. Good for you Mae. Have FUN!!!

Jeanie said...

I haven't heard of either of these. I really like their work (especially the food art!) I love that spaghetti!