Landscape painting expert to discuss special exhibit at Bates

John Arthur, author of Spirit of Place: Contemporary Landscape Painting and the American Tradition will give the opening lecture for Notations of Color: Oil Sketching in Maine, a special two-month exhibit of landscape painting, Sept. 11 at 7 p.m. in the Bates College Museum of Art. A reception inaugurating the exhibition will follow Arthur’s talk. The public is invited to attend both events free of charge.

Arthur has been acknowledged internationally as the leading authority on contemporary American realism and figurative painting. His books and exhibition catalogues include Richard Estes: The Urban Landscape, Realist Drawings and Watercolors and Realists at Work: Studio Interviews and Working Methods of Ten Contemporary Realists. He has curated numerous exhibits, including America 1976, a bicentennial project sponsored by the U.S. Dept. of the Interior that opened at the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., and toured American museums for two years. He also has organized mid career retrospectives of the paintings of Jack Beal, Richard Estes and Alfred Leslie.

Arthur, former director of the Boston University Art Gallery, has served on advisory panels for the National Endowment of the Arts, U.S. Dept. of the Interior and the National Science Foundation. Since 1975 he has advised private collectors and museums in the United States, Europe and Japan in the selection and purchase of works.

Notations of Color: Oil Sketching in Maine features small-scale oil sketches by more than 40 American landscape painters of the late 19th and 20th century, including George Bellows, Robert Henri, Neil Welliver, Joel Babb, Ann Lofquist and Lewiston-native Marsden Hartley, according to Genetta McLean, director of the Bates Museum of Art and curator of the exhibit.

In addition to works from the Bates College Museum of Art’s collection, the exhibit has works from other public and private collections, including the Bowdoin College Museum of Art, Colby College Museum of Art, Farnsworth Art Museum, Ogunquit Museum of American Art and the Portland Museum of Art.

This exhibition was generously funded by Fleet Charitable Trust and friends of the Bates College Museum of Art.

The public is invited to enjoy this exhibition free of charge. Special Saturday parent-child landscape painting workshops will be held during the course of the exhibition. The Museum of Art is open Tuesdays-Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Schools and other groups are welcome by appointment. For more information or to schedule a group tour, call 207-786-6158.

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