Featuring rarely seen works by major American artists — including James Peale, John F. Peto, Thomas Hart Benton, Georgia O’Keeffe and Andrew Wyeth — this exhibition celebrates the history of still-life painting in the United States.
Drawn from a private collection, these pictures represent an extraordinary range of subject matter, from fruit and flowers to images of guns and game. Among the major works in the exhibition are John F. Peto’s vibrant and haunting trompe l’oeil painting, The Writer’s Table: A Precarious Moment (1892) and Andrew Wyeth’s strikingly somber Christina’s Teapot (1968).
Frank J. Hevrdejs is a nationally-recognized collector of American art, pursuing his passion for over 30 years. A Life Trustee of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, and longtime chairman of its Collections Committee, Frank has pledged this extraordinary collection to the MFAH. He and his wife, Michelle, are now sharing it with visitors in Memphis and Tacoma, Washington, before it returns to Houston.
Credit: Exhibition overview from the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art website
Whether or not you go, the exhibition catalog, Two Centuries of American Still-Life Painting: The Frank and Michelle Hevrdejs Collection , represents the beauty and complexity of still-life painting in the United States. More than 65 works from the Hevrdejs collection, many of which have never been on public view, are accompanied by comprehensive and accessible explanations that contextualize their role in the ongoing development of the genre. Featuring works by prominent and diverse artists such as Raphaelle Peale, Thomas Hart Benton, Georgia O’Keeffe, and Andrew Wyeth, this study expands the overall notion of the still life by examining its use in a variety of painting styles from the 19th century to the present day. With color illustrations and an essay and entries by a distinguished scholar, this book demonstrates why the genre has been a compelling preoccupation for American artists over two centuries.
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