The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA) is pleased to announce an encore presentation of the 2012 exhibition A Mine of Beauty: Landscapes by William Trost Richards in honor of Mrs. Dorrance “Dodo” Hamilton, a treasured friend of PAFA who passed away on April 18 at the age of 88. “Dodo Hamilton was a remarkable philanthropist whose impact at PAFA, and throughout Philadelphia, is profound,” stated PAFA President and CEO David R. Brigham. “Among her many gifts to PAFA are 110 breathtaking William Trost Richards watercolors, which we first exhibited in 2012 and are presenting now as a tribute to her steadfast support and her lasting legacy.”
Created between 1875 and 1885, the stunning watercolors in A Mine of Beauty depict landscapes of Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and England. “These jewel-like watercolor landscapes will again delight visitors with their intimate scale and technical mastery of the watercolor medium,” said Anna Marley, Curator of Historical American Art.
William Trost Richards (1833-1905) created a series of small-scale watercolors as tokens of his appreciation and friendship with fellow Philadelphian George Whitney (1819-1885), a collector and art patron who owned one of the city’s most prized 19th-century art collections.
Whitney’s important collection was dispersed upon his death; however, Richards’ watercolor gifts remained a treasured Whitney family possession for many years. They were eventually acquired by Mrs. Hamilton, who graciously gifted them to PAFA.
Credit: Exhibition overview from museum website
Whether or not you go, the beautifully-illustrated exhibition catalog, A Mine of Beauty: Landscapes by William Trost Richards , celebrates the generous gift of William Trost Richards' watercolors to PAFA. Scenes ranging from muted and serene to light infused and color saturated, Richards' watercolors and oil paintings brilliantly capture the very essence of nature. Images are reproduced on a one-to-one scale, providing a lavish study of this pre-Raphaelite artist's work. Two prefaces and an essay by leading experts in the art historical field further expand on the history of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Philadelphia landscape painting in general and William Trost Richards specifically.
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