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Martin Johnson Heade’s Marshes: Reclamation and Anti-landscape

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Thomas Cole National Historic Site (New Studio)

218 Spring Street

Catskill, NY 12414

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Join us for the 17th annual Sunday Salons lecture series. Maggie M. Cao, Assistant Professor of Art History, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill will speak about environmental concerns in the landscapes of the Martin Johnson Heade, who is the subject of our 2020 special exhibition, Cross Pollination. The event takes place on Sunday, January 26 at 2 pm in Thomas Cole's New Studio, 218 Spring Street, Catskill, New York, 12414.

Commonly viewed as inhospitable wastelands, the salt marsh was an unprecedented pictorial subject in the 1870s when Martin Johnson Heade made it his artistic speciality. Heade’s serene wetland scenes tell two intersecting tales of drainage—a parasitism between artists of the Hudson River School, waged over the conventions of their craft, and actual drainage, ecological destruction wrought by the period’s wetland reclamation projects. This lecture will consider how Heade’s modest pictures challenged the conventions of landscape painting of his time by calling to mind the many precarious or failed efforts to turn wetlands into solid earth during the late nineteenth century.

Supported by the Ann and Arthur Grey Foundation, Empire State Development’s I LOVE NY Program under the Market NY initiative, and New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature. ® I LOVE NEW YORK is a registered trademark and service mark of the New York State Department of Economic Development; used with permission.

Special thanks to The Stewart House.

Painting: Martin Johnson Heade, The Harbor at Rio de Janeiro, 1864, Oil on canvas, 19 1/8 x 34 1/8 x 1 in. / Framed: 31 1/4 x 46 1/4 x 4 in., Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, Arkansas, 2006.76

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Thomas Cole National Historic Site (New Studio)

218 Spring Street

Catskill, NY 12414

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