10 Works that are “not to be missed”
By Dulce Román
Harn Museum of Art Chief Curator and Curator of Modern Art, curator of A Florida Legacy: Gift of Samuel H. and Roberta T. Vickers.
All photographs are courtesy of the Florida art collection, gift of Samuel H. And Roberta T. Vickers, Harn Museum of Art. Photography by Randy Batista.
Thomas Moran (American, 1837–1926)
Fort George Island, 1880
Oil on canvas 11 x 15 in.
Thomas Moran became famous for his idealized views of the American West and his grand paintings of Yellowstone and the Grand Canyon. In 1877 while on assignment to create illustrations for an article in Scribner’s Magazine (Sept. 1877 issue), he painted views of Fort George Island, a barrier island near the mouth of the St. Johns River.
Foul Hooked Black Bass, 1904
Watercolor on paper, 11 x 19 in.
Winslow Homer painted Foul Hooked Black Bass following his visit to Homosassa in January 1904 — one of seven winter trips to Florida between 1885 and 1909. In this lively watercolor, Homer captured the dramatic struggle of a black bass emerging from the water, its wide-open mouth snagged by an orange-red fly, as it fights to break free.
Martin Johnson Heade (American, 1819–1904)
Tropical Sunset: Florida Marsh circa 1885–90
Oil on canvas, 17 ¼ x 36 in.
Best known for his New England landscapes, Martin Johnson Heade moved from the Northeast to St. Augustine in the 1880s. Tropical Sunset: Florida Marsh is a quintessential scene of a Florida wetland set against a glorious sunset and reveals Heade’s masterful skill at capturing effects of light, weather and atmosphere.
Jane Peterson (American, 1876–1965)
Oil on board, 30 x 25 in.
Jane Peterson first visited Florida around 1915 and eventually became a regular winter visitor to Palm Beach. A close observation of details, zoomed-in perspective and colorful visual effects characterize her Florida nature subjects such as Coconuts (1945).
Stevan Dohanos (American, 1907–1994)
Trailer Park Garden, 1951
Oil on Masonite, 36 ⅛ x 28 ⅜ in.
Stevan Dohanos’s Trailer Park Garden offers a humorous peek into the lives of residents of a trailer park in Bradenton, Florida. Dohanos painted Trailer Park Garden for the cover of the February 2, 1952 issue of Saturday Evening Post and based his composition on a photograph by Joseph Janney Steinmetz of John and Lizzie Wilson from Boston, Massachusetts.
Ralston Crawford (American, 1906–1978)
Overseas Highway #2, 1941
Oil on canvas, 10 x 16 in.
Ralston Crawford’s Overseas Highway #2 depicts U.S. Route 1 as it traverses the Florida Keys. He painted this view in his characteristic flat, geometric style. The sharply demarcated, simplified forms and smooth surfaces make this composition an eloquent statement of abstract design.
Milton Avery (American, 1885–1965)
Lizard at the Door, 1950
Gouache on paper, 22 ¾ x 15 ⅜ in.
Lizard at the Door demonstrates Milton Avery’s mature style based on simplified shapes and subtle color harmonies. He painted this gouache during a winter stay at the Research Studio artist colony, now called the Maitland Art Center in Maitland, Florida.
Marguerite Zorach (American, 1887–1968)
Mary Eliza’s Cabin, Chipley, Florida, 1955
Oil on canvas, 26 x 40 in.
The bright palette, angular forms and slashing brushwork of Mary Eliza’s Cabin, Chipley, Florida, reveal Marguerite Zorach’s emotional connection to the scene depicted. This dynamic painting is closely related to Zorach’s portrait, Aunt Mary Eliza (1955, The Zorach Collection), depicting an African-American midwife from the small rural town of Chipley in the Northwest Florida panhandle.
N.C. Wyeth (American, 1882–1945)
Jody and Flag, 1938
Oil on pressed wood panel, 17 ½ x 26 ¾ in.
Celebrated artist N.C. Wyeth created a series of color illustrations for the 1939 edition of Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings’ Pulitzer Prize winning novel The Yearling, first published in March 1938. Set in the untamed wilds of northern Florida in the 1870s, The Yearling tells the bittersweet story of a boy from an impoverished family who adopts an orphaned fawn.
Everett Shinn (American, 1876–1953)
Saturday Night at the Ringling Hotel, 1949
Oil on canvas, 24 ¼ x 20 ¼ in.
Everett Shinn was inspired to capture popular forms of entertainment, including the circus and vaudeville and favored views of performers from unusual vantage points. In Saturday Night at the Ringling Hotel, the viewer shares a similar viewpoint as the performers — from high above the audience — which heightens the spontaneous excitement of the performance.
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